He took his time getting there didn’t he?
After all, we promised Retford United striker, Mark West, an interview, once he’d passed the 25-goal mark for the season.
Then manager Liam West, upon knowing this, chucked him into defence – he still managed to notch from there as well, reaching the goal milestone with the opener in the 4-1 home win over AFC Bentley, adding his 26th of the campaign in the following weeks’ 9-1 demolition of Arnold Town in the Central Midlands League Floodlit Cup.
In what is his second spell with the Badgers, Westy had a brief spell at Cannon Park during the 2010-11 campaign, he’s currently bagged over sixty goals, in all competitions, during the last three campaigns.
“Yes, I’ve played a couple of games, recently, at centre-half,” began Westy, as the Nottingham Sport caught up with him, in Morrison’s.
“You build your foundations from the back, and we’ve a pretty decent back-line here.
“But I enjoy it really, just a little frustrating, in recent seasons, because of covid.
“It does take pressure off me with others scoring though, especially as I’m coming towards the end of my career now.”
That career has seen some success come his way, lifting both a Northern Counties, and a Central Midlands League championship, whilst last season he was part of the Badgers side that went all the way and claimed the CML’s Chairman’s Cup – although the striker missed the last few rounds.
“I didn’t play as much a part of that as I’d have liked if I’m honest,” admitted Westy.
“I was banned for the quarters, semis, and final due to a sending off earlier in the competition.
“Then, lo-and-behold, the referee that sent me off, was in charge of the final – we had a good bit of banter though.”
The former Goole, and Hallam striker, West, now admittedly in the latter stages of his own career, also has another generation, his son, playing football, for Manchester City.
That in itself takes up quite a bit of his time, and yes, the Retford United hitman has come close to hanging up his boots in recent seasons – his loyalty to, and the persuasions of, gaffer Liam Kay, are keeping him going, for now at least.
“I’ve tried a couple of times, in recent season,” continued Westy.
“Liam though, he keeps talking me round, and with covid-hampered, recent seasons, he’s wanting us to be promoted, and me have another shot at a higher level, with the club.
“With my son at Manchester City as well though, that does take up a lot of time on my Saturday mornings, but here, we’ve just got to keep that momentum going now.”
Heading into 2022 in joint-second, behind leaders Newark Town, there’s just six points splitting the top five sides in the Central Midlands League Premier Division North.
And, having suffered just four defeats in twenty league games this campaign, the Badgers are still battling on four fronts.
But what of those special moments, well of course it’s going to be against the Badgers local rivals.
“Scoring a winner against Newark, that’s always special,” admits Westy.
“They’re big games and I usually get a good bit stick from them, so yes, I enjoy scoring in those games.
“Now though, having already set, and beaten the 25-goal target this season, I guess I’ll go for forty now.”
Forty goals, and hopefully promotion, with some silverware, will do the Cannon Park nicely, and they return to footballing action on Saturday, 8 January, when they make the trip to the Dunscroft Welfare Ground, home of Sutton Rovers 2007.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @RetfordUnited Mark West is hoping more goals will lead to promotion.