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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 288
The majority of our player interviews begin with season 2016/17 and Ash Lavan’s is no different. Ash joined Town after spells at several clubs including Darlington Railway Athletic but was mainly a squad member during that season. Ash, played in central midfield with the odd game on the wing, scoring one goal in that campaign as a substitute at Ashton Town in the FA Vase. Speaking to then player and future joint manager Harry Taylor, I posed the question... who was the most natural finisher at the club? Expecting Harry to say Craig Hutchinson or Chris Dickinson (my choice was Elliott Beddow), he surprisingly chose Ash Lavan. Intrigued i watched Ash in training and at football grounds within the Northern League and observed his finishing. Harry had a point - Lavan had a rocket in him! The following season, with Hutchinson departing for Newton Aycliffe, Manager Barry Oliver decided to go for Lavan in the number nine role. First game of the season, Lavan scored five goals in an 8-0 rout. By the end of the season, Lavan just fell short behind Dean Thexton for the golden boot award which was some achievement bearing in mind his lack of experience at this level of football. Other clubs were taking note and Lavan left for Guisborough Town to try his luck in division one. The stay was a transient one and Lavan didn’t hesitate in coming back despite Hutchinson playing in his position. Lavan was given the number ten shirt and is currently Town’s second top scorer behind the Hartlepool magician!

Ash, when you first joined Town, which position did you think you would be chosen?

I would have to say central midfield but will play anywhere when representing Town.

When Craig Hutchinson and Jamie Davis left for Newton Aycliffe, did Baz say to you that you would be the main goalscorer and did you feel any pressure?

Not at first, I don't think he thought I'd do aswell as I did but as the games went on he demanded goals. There was pressure as there is with everyone to perform at this level but I think the most pressure came from myself.

Scoring five at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion was an unbelievable achievement in your first league game as a striker. You were outstanding that day but did such a display raise expectations?

To get the win on the first game of a season is always tough, scoring five on the first day gave me the confidence I needed to push on and carry it on throughout the season. I don't think it rose expectations from the fans, players or management but my personal expectations did.

It was a difficult season for the club on and off the field. How were you able to keep performing like you did, scoring week in week out?

Last season was a disappointing season for the club, however I can't thank Jamma and Harry enough for the effort they put in. I was able to keep scoring week in, week out due to the support from the fans and players.

You decided to sign for Guisborough Town. What was your time like there and why did you choose to return to Billingham Town?

I enjoyed my time at Guisborough, it's a great set up and has a good bunch of lads. I was playing and scoring goals but when you're a Billingham lad it means something playing for your home town and the position the lads were in I wanted to help them make history. I spoke with Baz and Eddie about it then seeing the transformation of the club I didn't hesitate on returning.

You have played in central midfield, the number 9 & 10 roles. What do you think is your natural position?

I think my natural position would have to be number 10. It's the position I most enjoy playing because I can get alot of the ball, score and create chances for the team.

Your style actually reminds me of Bryan Robson during his time at Manchester United. I could see you long term as a combative and roaming central midfielder. Do you agree or disagree?

Further down the line I would agree with you but for the time being I can only see myself getting better going forward attacking.

Recently you missed a last minute penalty at Thornaby in such a pressure cooker environment. How delighted were you to to come off the bench and grab the winner against Crook Town. Did it feel like redemption?

That penalty miss against Thornaby has got to be the lowest moment I have experienced while playing football so far but to the come off the bench and score the late winner was madness. I will feel redemption when we win the league.

How surreal does it feel to see a full and noisy support at home games this season? Must be a buzz compared to some of the low gates we had last season?

Billingham town without a doubt have the best fans in the Northern League. They really are the 12th man for us, I don't think we would be in the position we are now in without them and I'm sure all the lads world agree. The biggest buzz for me comes when the fans start their chanting and the opponents stop to start admiring it.

You are popular with supporters. Is there a game where you felt they spurred you on?

It's hard to say because every game they are great. However for me there has been a few stand out games from the likes of my return debut away to Easington coming on to score two infront of the Barmy Army. Another memorable one for me would be Bedlington away where we won 1-0. The most recent game where the fans spurred me on was Willington away, travelling in a double decker bus full of crazy Town fans because they certainly were the 12th man that got us over the line that game.

And finally, we are close to achieving promotion and a possible league title. What are the necessary ingredients to get us over the line?

The players, management and fans need to stick together and believe we can do this.

Thank you to Ash for this interview at a time when the lads are concentrating on getting wins on the board.

Graham Hutchinson
Press Officer

Sent from my iPad

Sent from my iPad



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