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Boateng bids to keep his place after impressive start
HAVING risen through the ranks of team that prides itself on its continental style of football, Daniel Boateng was certainly thrown in at the deep end for his Football League debut on Saturday.
The Arsenal starlet, on loan at Swindon until the end of the season, played his first game in a Robins shirt at Hereford and quickly had to adapt to the tough playing conditions at Edgar Street.
A brief, but heavy downpour and an uneven pitch made it tough for both Swindon and Hereford to keep the ball on the ground, but the Town players adapted well to scrap for a 2-1 win.
Boateng certainly gave a good account of himself after being thrown straight into the side due to Joe Devera’s toe injury.
And while long-ball football is rare in the Premier Reserve League, the 19-year-old is simply happy to be playing competitive football, whatever the style.
“I was obviously playing reserve football with Arsenal and the difference between that and league football is massive,” Boateng told the Advertiser.
“In reserve football you have time on the ball and time to pick a pass but here in League Two everyone is fighting each other, so you have to be prepared for it and be as tough as you can.
“But I have a lot of love for football so I don’t have a problem with what the condition of the pitch is that I play on. It is my job at the end of the day.
“I just love to make people happy by playing the game I love and it is great to hear the fans cheering when we win.”
Having now got a taste for playing, Boateng is hoping to get the nod again for tonight’s game against Shrewsbury.
Devera is expected to be available again and, given his excellent form in recent weeks, it is likely he will make an immediate return to the starting 11.
But Boateng hopes he did enough at the weekend to give Paolo Di Canio plenty to think about.
“Any footballer does not want to be on the bench so I definitely want to keep my place,” he added.
“It is obviously up to myself to play well and give the gaffer a headache so that he has to really think who will be the best partnership. Hopefully I impressed enough on Saturday.”