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HELLENIC LEAGUE: Turner hails Wootton Bassett striker Barnes
WOOTTON Bassett manager Dave Turner believes Mark Barnes is the best striker he has worked with in non-league football.
The former Supermarine frontman has flourished at Hellenic League level in 2012/13, currently sitting at the top of the Division One West goalscoring charts with 18 goals in 14 games.
Barnes is one of only two players who have hit double figures, who have scored an average of more than a goal a game.
He also played a huge part in getting Bassett to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, the furthest they had ever been in the competition.
Having scored four goals against Calne, Hamworthy and Highworth, Barnes then agonisingly missed out on the trip to Dorchester through ligament damage.
However, the forward then returned to terrorise defences in Division One West and Turner is delighted to have such a talent at his disposal as Bassett target promotion.
“For me he is the best natural goalscorer I’ve ever worked with,” said the Rylands Way chief.
“He’s one of the easiest people I’ve had to deal with, there’s no edge to him at all.
“I’ve said before that he’s better than our level and we know that and he knows that, but it’s just with his work commitments and everything else he can’t train twice a week.
“He can’t travel for midweek games so at one of the bigger clubs, like Swindon Supermarine, they wouldn’t tolerate that.
“We’re just very fortunate that we’re both in the right place at the right time but he’s a terrific lad to have around.
“He’s quite a character. He’s a shy guy but actually every week there’s more coming out with him. Football-wise he is the best natural finisher I’ve worked with.
“I’ve been lucky because Sam Collier (former Bassett striker) was very prolific in front of goal, but he (Barnes) is the best for me. He’s definitely the best.”
Bassett’s campaign continues on Saturday when they welcome Carterton to Rylands Way.