Keeno determined to nail down starting role

David Keenleyside put in an excellent performance against Staines Town. Picture: Bob Walkley

David Keenleyside put in an excellent performance against Staines Town. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

David Keenleyside is determined to earn a regular spot in St Albans City’s starting line-up after impressing in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Staines Town.

Joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds gave the 23-year-old his first start of the season and he repaid them with an excellent performance, stretching the field on the left wing and setting up the Saints’ first goal.

And now he wants his name to be one of the first on the team-sheet.

“Get the shirt and keep it, that’s the aim for this season,” he told the Herts Ad after the game.

“I haven’t played at this level before but I think I did all right, nothing outrageous, and I felt comfortable on the ball. I think I can shine at this level.”

The former Harpenden Town player made 23 starts for City last season, most coming before an ankle injury, suffered at Hemel Hempstead, ruled him out for three months. But he came back just in time for the play-offs and helped St Albans earn promotion.

And now he’s in the Conference South he wants to enjoy the experience.

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“I think I have got to try and enjoy it and get on the ball as much as possible,” he said.

“The lads are brilliant, they’re really encouraging. The confidence is a big thing for most of our players. I want keeping getting on the ball and getting that shirt.”

City’s confidence will be sky high after Tuesday’s win. After falling two goals behind, the Saints staged a 12-minute turnaround to claim their first victory.

After the game, Keenleyside said he was relieved to have three points on the board.

“It was needed after a poor performance on Saturday. We weren’t at our best but we came out and showed not just our quality but the fact that we have some fight in us and that’s what we need at this level.

“To come from two down [and win] showed good quality and character. We’re not going to get bullied in this league, which is important, and I think we can compete with the good teams.”

Speaking of Keenleyside’s performance, Gray said: “He worked his socks off and was a massive threat for us.

“Me and Graham sat down after Saturday and spoke about the formation and the personnel because we didn’t have the whole ptch covered and it didn’t suit us.

“We wanted to be expansive and Keeno and Wales gave us that.”

St Albans travel to Farnborough this Saturday, 3pm kick-off.