Gavin Cowan excited to do battle with good pal Jody Banim as AFC Telford head to Ashton United

Gavin Cowan is ready to lock horns with good friend and ‘like-minded’ fellow boss Jody Banim at Ashton United tonight.

Bucks chief Gavin Cowan is good friends with his Ashton counterpart Jody Banim
Bucks chief Gavin Cowan is good friends with his Ashton counterpart Jody Banim

The AFC Telford manager and his Robins counterpart met through mutual friend and former Shrewsbury Town winger Sam Aiston, as well as several battles on the pitch in their playing careers.

Ex-forward Banim, who played for Town between 2003 and 2004, is battling to keep Ashton in National League North after last season’s play-off success. His side are in the bottom three, six points adrift of safety.

Bucks chief Cowan, whose side are winless in three league games, has clear admiration for his opposite number and will not be counting his chickens tonight.

“He nut-megged me and I forearm smashed him a few times,” laughed Cowan. “We get on really well, we’re very like-minded.

“I’m just a taller, better-looking version of him! We get on great, the texts have been quite humorous...

“He’s a great guy doing a really good job. After we’ve beat them I hope he can keep them up.”

The Telford boss added: “There are no easy games in this league. You can’t take anyone for granted. Teams do have off-days and other teams can be on fire.

“We’re both battling for different things. If we do what I know we can then we can win.”

Cowan’s side have not been winless in four league games this season. The Bucks have reacted superbly to previous barren winning runs.

Telford are aiming to respond from Saturday’s 3-2 reverse at Stockport Country, where Cowan feels his side did not give a true reflection of themselves.

He feels that once his players return to the script and begin trusting the process again, they will rediscover their grove.

But Cowan is taking the viewpoint that the recent run of one point from a possible nine can work for his side and have a positive impact.

“There’s 13 games left and sometimes a run like this can be a blessing in disguise,” said Cowan. “All teams go through these spells but then they can find momentum at the right time.

“I’m a big believer in always looking for the positive. Some teams can be on form now and have a tough time at a crucial moment.

“Sometimes the lads have to take responsibility and they’re ready to do that. I’m excited to see who shies away and who pushes their chest out and finds some energy.”

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