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Consistent Bradford Park Avenue striker Tom Greaves joins elite band
Tom Greaves finally joined an exclusive club when making his 200th appearance for Bradford Park Avenue last Saturday after missing out as an unused substitute the previous week.
The landmark was reached when Avenue hosted Boston United in Blue Square Bet North – and Greaves came close to marking the occasion with a goal.
“There is a lot of competition for places at this club but I always felt like I would make it,” he said.
“Someone told me my goal ratio the other day, because everybody has been checking the stats with this coming up, and I’m quite happy with it.”
Greaves has scored 65 times in his 200 games, which works out at a goal every three matches, highlighting his consistency.
It was fitting that the amiable striker passed the two ton mark in a league game because he is the only player currently at the club who was in the squad when Avenue became founder members of the Conference North, which was then sponsored by Nationwide but is now under the Blue Square Bet banner.
Greaves said: “When you consider that I have not played all of those games from the start, it isn’t a bad total of goals. I have come on as a substitute a lot this season but you have to work to get a shirt these days.
“There is Alex Davidson, Michael Duckworth, Matty James, Paul Walker, Danny Holland, Jamie Jackson and me all fighting for three places up front.
“Then we have Richard Marshall, who came as a forward but often plays in a three-man midfield these days.”
Greaves feels the fierce competition is healthy but also crucial for a club with ambition.
He said: “I think that can only be good for the club. We have had a decent start after getting back into the Conference North – and it would have been even better if us strikers had put our chances away!
“There are worse clubs than us in this division and with the players John (manager Deacey) has brought in over the summer, it has turned us from a side who would have been looking to consolidate after promotion into a side that should be pushing.
“Danny, Jacko and Wacker are all top class. Wacker has been fantastic this season and I’m not surprised because I played with him for Garforth Town, so I knew all about his quality.
“We are looking for a play-off finish. The confidence is good in the dressing room, all around Horsfall and through the squad.
“We need the lads back fit though because we have been unlucky with injuries – and not just up front either. We haven’t had a settled defence.”