Jarid Robson has admitted the decision to make him captain at Haverhill Borough came as a surprise, but says his role is simply to lead by example.
The 21-year-old midfielder joined Borough in the summer and has been an instant hit with supporters at The New Croft 3G, netting 18 goals in 33 appearances to top the scoring charts this season.
Robson was given the captain’s armband from Gareth Thomas in November, with his first game as skipper the 5-1 defeat away to Thurlow Nunn League First Division leaders Coggeshall Town.
But since then Martin Westcott’s side have been in fine form, losing just once in their last 16 games, a run that includes a current nine-match winning sequence in the First Division.
Robson has evidently embraced the responsibilities of being captain, with 12 of his 18 goals this season coming since he inherited the role.
The ex-West Wratting man was on target for the fourth consecutive game after he opened the scoring in Saturday’s 5-0 rout over Team Bury, a result which saw third-place Borough move to within a point of leaders Coggeshall.
But ahead of a trip to Halstead Town (eighth) this Saturday (3pm), Robson insists there is a long way to go before his side can start thinking about promotion.
Echoing what player-manager Westcott said last week, he stated: “We want to finish as high as possible.
“Our main aim is to get back in the FA Cup this season.
“There’s a long way to go still. We’ve beaten some of the bigger sides in this league, but we need to keep playing the way we have been to keep up the pressure.
“We’ll just see where we end up. We didn’t expect to be where we are now before the start of the season.
“We’re on a really good run and confidence is high in the team at the moment.
“We kept the train rolling with the win on Saturday, which was a hard battle.
“With the players we’ve got at the moment we’re a solid outfit going into every game we play.”
While taking on the captaincy at Borough came out of the blue for Robson, the midfielder does have prior experience of being a captain.
He captained his university football team while studying for a degree in Secondary Physical Education and Sports Coaching at Leeds Trinity University, from where he graduated last year.
“I started playing for West Wratting when I was 16 and then while I studied at university I was the captain for their football team,” Robson said.
“It was a good level of football to be playing in. I came back in the summer and was training at Haverhill Rovers, and at the same time I was training at Borough.
“I was training at both teams and I decided to sign for Borough. I think it fits in with my level of ability.
“From playing in the Kershaw Premier (with West Wratting) to then step up two leagues I think would have been a big ask, and I enjoyed training with Borough.”
Robson says becoming captain at Borough has not changed his game, but does hope his work rate on the pitch can spur his team-mates on.
“Playing as the captain hasn’t changed the way I play to be honest,” he added. “The kind of captain I am, my role is really to just lead by example.
“Hopefully the other players in the team notice that and then they can up their own games and work hard when we have to.”
n In the Premier Division, Haverhill Rovers will look to end a run of two defeats when they host Great Yarmouth Town on Saturday (3pm).
Ben Cowling’s side then visit holders Mildenhall Town in the semi-finals of the League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night (7.45pm).