Bazza's just doing his job

PUBLISHED: 11:54 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

Paul Bastock has been in top form this season.

Paul Bastock has been in top form this season.

PAUL Bastock has played down his good early season form saying he s only doing his job. The 39-year-old has been in sparkling form for City producing an outstanding save to deny Danny Smith of Eastleigh and following it up a week later with an important s

PAUL Bastock has played down his good early season form saying he's only doing his job.

The 39-year-old has been in sparkling form for City producing an outstanding save to deny Danny Smith of Eastleigh and following it up a week later with an important save to stop Scott Kirkwood scoring a second for Lewes and putting the game beyond St Albans.

However for the Bostonian it's just a case of doing what he's paid to do.

"I'm not having a lot to do, just a few saves here and there but that's what I'm expected to do isn't it," said Bastock following City's 1-1 draw with Lewes.

"I'm not there to put them in the back of the net I'm there to stop them and if I don't do that then there's questions asked.

"I'm happy with the way I'm playing at the moment but the team in front of me gives me confidence."

City have shown some good signs early on and the 'keeper believes they are surprising people this year.

"I think we're surprising a lot of people this year. (Last) Tuesday (against Welling) was a blip for 20 minutes but after that we were all right. The frightening thing was we looked a lot better when Sol and I were sent off! We were down to nine men for the last 20 minutes and battered them.

"Today (against Lewes), possession wise, we battered them but never really looked like getting the crosses in that we deserved to put in from good areas. However they only really had three efforts today."

Despite the loss of captain and last season's Player of the Year Ben Martin to Chelmsford City during the summer, the majority of the City backline has remained in tack and Bastock is delighted to have that kind of quality playing in front of him.

"Ben's a massive loss but Quilts (James Quilter) has played there, done well and is a strong lad. Rhino (Mark Peters) can play there and can batter anybody and do a job. We've got Brad (Thomas) who's come in and obviously you've got Frates (Ryan Frater), so Steve's got plenty of options which is giving him a bit of a headache which is good."

Bastock's dismissal against Welling means the 39-year-old will miss the trip to Chelmsford a week on Saturday. Boss Steve Castle is considering his options but one man who could be set to deputise is Michael Emery, who played in the pre-season friendly at Bedford and was an unused sub on Saturday.

The 18-year-old has been attending Bastock's goalkeeping school for the past three years and the current City number one is sure, that if called upon, the former Rushden scholar can do the business.

"He's a young promising 'keeper," said Bastock. "He's got good hands and good feet. He needs to put a bit of upper body strength on but he's got a wonderful spring and a throw I'd love to have.

"I hope Michael does well and gets his chance. If not then that's Steve's decision, it's a big game Chelmsford and it's a tall order for an 18-year-old but I'd have every confidence in him coming in and doing a job."

The veteran goalkeeper also had words of advice for his young protégé and other budding goalkeepers.

"The trouble is everybody wants experienced goalkeepers, and thank god they do," joked Bastock. "You've got to bite the bullet, don't expect any money or things like that, and get out. Don't worry about money at your age, you're only 18 years old. When I was 18 I was playing first team football for Cambridge on £60 a week, other players were on a lot more money but I didn't care because I was playing football and that's what I'm trying to explain to him.

"You've got to earn the right by being an understudy to me. You're going to learn a lot and that's the problem with these kids when they're getting thrown in because they want to bring these kids through but as a goalkeeper they make too many mistakes. You don't mature until your 28; I wasn't at my peak until I was 28-30 so these kids, the ones that are playing at the moment good luck to them. When they're 28 they'll realise from their reading of the game and their understanding that they're at the peak of their game.

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