Banton frustrated he never had the chance to kick on with Luton
For ex-Hatters forward Zane Banton there was a real sense of what might have been after he saw his 10 year stint at Kenilworth Road ended recently.
The 21-year-old attacker had expected to play far more of a part in the first team this season, especially after being handed his Football League debut by boss Nathan Jones last term, and playing a further three times, impressing with every passing moment.
However, he was restricted to just four appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy and eventually released when his contract ended, leaving him wondering what life could have been like, had he got his opportunity.
Banton said: “That’s the only thing that’s still at the back of my mind, I’m just a bit frustrated about that.
“I was so buzzing for the start of the season. It took me a while to make my league debut, I made my debut and coming off last season and doing well and getting told by other people I was doing well, I had a good feeling and thought ‘that was great, I can carry this into next season now.’
“I went into the new season, thought I had a good pre-season and was just excited for the season to start.
“Then it didn’t start the best, I wasn’t involved much, but I thought things can change, I just have to wait as I had that foundation to kick on.
“After the first game against Plymouth, coming off the back of last season and in pre-season where I did well, I was dying to be on the bench.
“When I wasn’t on the bench, I knew straight away, ‘wow this is going to be a really, really tough season.’
“I have nothing against Nathan (Jones), he did do a lot for me when I was there, he improved me as a player in certain areas, but that’s still at the back of my mind and I think that will always be there.”
When he did play, Banton always caught the eye, named star man in the 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over West Brom U23s when he produced a sparkling display.
He felt that starring role would be the catalyst for a prolonged chance in the first team, but was restricted to just another two sub appearance in the competition, as he continued: “I literally got told to my face, not in a bad way, just in a professional way, ‘make sure you perform’.
“I did that against Gillingham and especially the West Brom game, I got man of the match. I thought that really is going to kickstart my season now.
“I had to wait a few months to get my chance, then I took it, and it’s really frustrating when you look back at it, as after that, I feel I could have kicked on.”
Not scoring for the Town is something that will always stay with Banton too, especially coming within inches during the Baggies game, hitting the post from close range.
He added: “That will still play in the back of my mind as well, as once you get your first goal, no-one knows what can happen then.
“You can score your first goal and never score again, but for me personally when I score, my confidence goes up 10 times, like most players.
“So that was frustrating, because after that you never know what could happen.”