Marcus Dinanga’s looking for a fresh start at AFC Telford
Marcus Dinanga is focused on starting a new chapter after revealing help from AFC Telford coach Matthew Barnes-Homer has left him feeling like ‘a new man’.
The Bucks hitman wants to build on last weekend’s stunning second-half hat-trick at Darlington when Gavin Cowan’s men entertain Farsley Celtic tomorrow.
The contest pits Telford, in 14th, against the eighth-placed Yorkshire visitors, who were promoted as champions from the Northern Premier last season.
Though a gap of just six points separates the sides, Cowan’s improving team will be looking to halve that as they embark on a later-than-planned charge into National League North’s top half.
Dinanga has four goals in two games and hopes he has done enough to start for Telford at home tomorrow after climbing off the bench to steal the headlines last time out.
The former Hartlepool forward is having to battle with Matty Stenson and Aaron Williams for the forward roles and admits extra sessions are giving him the edge.
“It’s always hard to come into a team where the strikers are doing well, and you’re behind and trying to get on to the same wavelength as them, but that’s the past,” Dinanga said.
“I’ve had time for myself, and with Barnesy (Matthew Barnes-Homer) helping me out with the training and with the finishing after each training session, it’s helped me become a new man.
“The season I had last year was poor for me, but I just had to move on from it, and hopefully I can start a new chapter.”
The ex-Burton striker, Telford’s top scorer in 2017/18 before the Pools switch that failed to ignite, added:
“We always do extra after each training session anyway, and he’ll always tell me ‘watch the strikers, pick out if they’re doing something wrong’, so that if I come on, I can do the right thing. It’s always good to have someone that scored goals in their career, in a similar league, to give you advice.”
The Bucks have captain Shane Sutton nearing a return, but he is unlikely to be involved in tomorrow’s squad against Celtic.
The visitors started the season in impressive form, but are winless in six league games.
Dinanga, 22, hopes for a starting nod from Cowan, where he will put himself in the best position to add to his recent haul.
“I like to play down the middle,” he added. “I don’t mind playing two up front, but mainly I don’t like being too far from the goal.
“If I’m playing a bit wider, as a three, then you can still get the goals in, but not as much as you can playing down the middle.
“Anywhere the goals are is where I want to be, really.”
AFC Telford (4-4-2 diamond): Yates; Birch, Streete, Lilly, Calder; Deeney, McQuilkin, Walker, Barnett; Dinanga, Williams.
Read Dinanga’s full interview with Richard Worton in tomorrow’s New Bucks Head matchday programme.