Released Banton determined to prove Luton boss wrong

Former Luton Town striker Zane Banton is determined to prove manager Nathan Jones was wrong to release him.

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 8:41 am
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3:40 pm
Zane Banton in action for Luton this season
Zane Banton in action for Luton this season

The 21-year-old saw his decade-long stay with the club ended last month, when he was one of five players not offered a new deal by the Hatters chief, swiftly penning a one year contract with St Albans.

Speaking exclusively to the News/Gazette, when asked if the decision had given him extra incentive to show he has what it takes to make it in the pro game, Banton said: “Definitely, one million per cent, that’s all that I’m focused on now.

“I think nowadays that happens so much in football, that’s part of what football’s about, proving people wrong, so I’m definitely out to do that.

“I’ve got my head back a little bit and think I can definitely do that, prove a few people wrong.”

The youngster admitted that being let go by the club he had been at since the age of 10 was tough to take, saying: “Even when you’re not playing or not playing as much as you can, it’s always a blow when you’ve been at a club for such a long time.

“I was the last one left out my age group and the youth team, and then the last one left out of the first and second year pros and you think you’ve done well to be the only one left, but then I guess I didn’t really for whatever reason.

“It was like swings and roundabouts for the whole season. I’d chat to him (Jones) and think, even though I wasn’t playing, he was telling me I was doing well in training, telling me there’s still stuff to work on and I understood that.

“Coming towards the end of the season, we didn’t have many chats, but I knew that I wasn’t one of his main priorities really, because of what was going on.

“It got to the stage where, it was 50/50 for me.

“I thought when I have played this season, even when I wasn’t getting any minutes early on, when I did get my chance against Gillingham, I took it and the West Brom game too.

“I’d been called back for a loan spell, done well, but considering I hadn’t played for quite a while, was that really going to be enough to make his mind up?

“It was tough to take the first week or so, but now I’ve got my head back screwed on.”

One of the reasons that Jones had given about releasing Banton was that he wanted to see more from the talented attacker in training.

On those claims, Banton said: “I do see what he’s saying as we have certain chats about certain things, not major things, just things that he thought I could improve on.

“But the training one, not in a disrespectful way, that didn’t faze me too much because I thought it happens to a lot of players.

“A lot go through spells where they are playing bad in games, or a lot of players go through times when they’re flying in training, but can’t do the business on the pitch.

“It didn’t faze me too much just for the simple fact that since he’d been in charge, he had always said on quite a lot of occasions, how I was a good trainer, one of the best and I was always doing well.

“When he said I had dipped a bit and wanted to see me get better in training, I understood that, I actually agreed with him.

“As there was a patch, maybe about three or four weeks, where I wasn’t at it in training, for whatever reason, not that I didn’t want to be, I just had a spell where things were a bit difficult.

“But since he’s been here, he’s always known me to be one of his best trainers as he told me. I thought I’d get back to that and at the end of the season I did get back to that because he told me, and you guys (press) as well, that I’d been doing well in training.”