Matt Ball looking for top-half finish at least for St Albans City

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 July 2016

Matt Ball looks on as St Albans City hosted Stevenage. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Matt Ball looks on as St Albans City hosted Stevenage. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Robert Walkley

St Albans City’s new signing Matt Ball has set his sights on a top-half finish – with a tilt at the Vanarama National League South play-offs not beyond the realm of possibility.

The 23-year-old former Norwich City and Stevenage man is one of nine new signings brought in at Clarence Park by manager Ian Allinson over the summer.

And he believes the quality of that newly-assembled squad means City could well be a threat this year.

He said: “With the players we have and the goalscorers we have in the team; we’ve got Louie [Theophanous] and Junior [Morias] and they’re going to get you 15/20 goals.

“So you’re hoping for top half of the table this year at least, even edging towards the play-offs really.

“I think the squad are more than capable of that. Most of them won the league [National South] two seasons ago at Boreham Wood so hopefully having their experience and having new players coming in, hopefully we can challenge the top teams.”

Ball made his first start in a City shirt in the 3-2 defeat by his former side on Saturday.

And he was just delighted to be back playing

“It was good to play against my old team,” he said. “There’s a few players there that I still know.

“You always enjoy playing against your old teams but it’s only pre-season and it’s about getting match fitness.

“Everyone got a good 45 minutes today so I’m very pleased for that.

“I was blowing after 10 minutes but it was good to get back into it and get the assist [for the first goal].”

He has found settling into the squad easy, with plenty of familiar faces.

He said: “I know most of the St Albans lads anyway because I’m a St Albans boy.

“I grew up here, went to school here, know all the boys from playing against them and playing with them and all the lads are great so I’ve settled in really well.

“I know Junior Morias, I’ve always had a good laugh with him from our time together at Boreham Wood. Shaun Lucien as well as he was at Wealdstone last year.

“I’ve worked with Ian [Allinson] before and he actually told me I don’t have to defend this year and I just have to go and create things.

“I’ll remember that when he has a go at me for not defending later in the season.

“For me it’s perfect [at Clarence Park]. There’s a big crowd, nice pitch and it’s local for me as well so I’m really happy.”

And he has also set himself his own personal target for the season ahead.

He added: “Whoever I play with, whether it will be Louie or Junior, I’ll just be looking to get a few assists and on the scoresheet because that’s what I’m in the team for.

“If I’m not doing that then I won’t be in the team so my aim for the season is keeping the goalscorers happy.”

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