Rankine: I'll celebrate start - but not a goalBy Jon Couch
September 27, 2012
TARGET man Michael Rankine admits he'll find it hard to rough up his former York City team-mates on Saturday - but says he'll give it a jolly good go.
The powerful striker locks horns with the Minstermen for the first time since joining the Shots on a free transfer in May last year following two happy years at Bootham Crescent.
Former Rushden & Diamonds front man Rankine scored 24 goals in 103 appearances for City, helping them to the Conference Play-off Final in 2009-10 and then finishing top scorer for the club the following season.
But even though he admits he can't wait to go head-to-head with several of his former team-mates, the burly front man says he won’t be celebrating opening his league account against them at the EBB Stadium on Saturday.
“I’m very excited to be playing against York, I’m delighted they’re finally back in the Football League as it's a club which still holds a special place in my heart,” said the Doncaster-born striker, who netted five goals in an injury-ravaged first season with the Shots last year.
“I’ve still got a lot of friends at York so it will be weird playing against them and being serious trying to rough up the defenders.
“But no matter who I play against I just love scoring goals and Saturday will be no different. It would be great to score the winner but I won’t be celebrating scoring, I have too much respect for York than that.”
First, though, Rankine accepts he has an even harder task to complete before he can even think about celebrations – just getting in manager Dean Holdsworth’s starting eleven.
Rankine, 27, scored Aldershot’s first goal of the season in the opening day Capital One Cup tie at Wolves, but has failed to hit the net since and has spent the last five matches on the bench with Craig Reid getting the nod to lead the front line.
“It’s been frustrating,” Rankine added. “I’m the type of player who wants to play every game, but I understand that the gaffer has a job to do in choosing his best team at the time.
“I’ll knock on his door but I won't go screaming and shouting, I’ll bide my time, wait for my chance and hopefully when it comes I can take it.”
The good news for Rankine or who gets the nod on Saturday is that York have injury concerns over both centre halves with Chris Smith (hamstring) and Clarke Carlisle (ankle) set to under go late tests. Chris Doig, who had a brief spell at Aldershot last season, stands by.
Aldershot Town are offering free admission to under 16s accompanied by a full-paying adult for Saturday’s home clash with York City.
A kids’ fun zone is also available throughout the afternoon at the High Street end of the ground.