Loan man Ben Wright says Basingstoke Town have the talent to reach play-offs

Ben Wright celebrates scoring a goal for parent club Salisbury City.

Ben Wright celebrates scoring a goal for parent club Salisbury City.

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

ON-LOAN striker Ben Wright believes that his hometown club has the quality to challenge for a play-off place in the Conference South.

The 25-year-old, who is in the middle of a month-long loan spell from Conference Premier outfit Salisbury City, has not yet completed a game for Town, with the wet weather playing havoc with the schedule.

He did start the trip to Gosport Borough between Christmas and new year, only for the game to be abandoned early in the second half due to floodlight failure.

However, Wright, who began his career at the Camrose, has been impressed by the quality of the Town squad in training and is sure that former teammate Jason Bristow has a squad capable of challenging near the top of the table.

“From what I have seen, this squad can challenge for a play-off spot,” the former Cranbourne pupil said. “There is plenty of talent and the intensity at training is unbelievable.

“If we play anywhere near the level we achieve in training then I am confident that we can get six points from the next two games this week.

“The guys won their last game 4-0 so the goals are there. We just need to turn dominance into goals and wins and we will be up where we should be in the table.”

Wright’s return to Basingstoke comes more than six years after he left the club. He made his name at Hampton and Richmond Borough, earning a move to the Football League with Peterborough United, before going on to Crawley, Braintree and Forest Green, joining Salisbury in the summer.

“I thought that things were going well for me at Salisbury but I picked up an ankle injury at the start of December and have been frozen out since,” he said. “I was not playing, despite being their second-highest goalscorer. I’m not sure what I have to prove to them, whether it’s goals, fitness or what.

“I’m just keen to get back playing for myself and it’s great to be able to help Basingstoke out. I’m really pleased to be back at the Camrose.

“I have known Jason for a long time and have always said that if I was to drop down to the Conference South, I would love to play for him and my hometown club.

“Jason’s somebody I see as a friend and was somebody who really helped me when I first played for the club a while back. It’s great to be working with him again and I am really happy to be playing for him.

“Jason has told me that I will get minutes but it’s down to me to make sure I keep my place in the side and we will see what happens when the loan finishes.”

Despite being halfway through his spell at the club, Wright is still to make his official second debut for Town, something he admits has been annoying.

“I can’t wait to get out there again,” he added. “It’s been frustrating over the Christmas and new year period because we have been preparing for games only for them to be cancelled, so my first game is long overdue.

“We have two big games coming up this week and it’s nice to have them both at home. We are just desperate for it to stop raining so they can go ahead.”

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