Barrow's Welsh scrapper aiming to silence barrackers
Last updated at 15:56, Tuesday, 26 February 2013
BARROW AFC’s resident ankle-biter James Owen is relishing the prospect of snapping at Wrexham’s heels – and silencing any abuse he receives from his fellow countrymen.
Caernarfon-born Owen represented Wales up to under-17s level and went on trial at Wrexham after leaving their fierce rivals from across the English/Welsh border, Chester City, in early 2010.
However, Bluebirds boss Dave Bayliss swooped to sign the midfielder who is determined to help Barrow emulate the 3-1 home win they achieved over the table-toppers in last season’s corresponding fixture.
“I think anybody can beat any other team in this league, and we beat Luton at home a couple of weeks ago, so you never know what will happen,” said 22-year-old Owen ahead of tonight’s Holker Street clash (7.45pm) in which he is set to make his 100th appearance for Barrow.
“I like playing against Wrexham because I’m Welsh, so it will be a good test. We beat them last year at our place so, hopefully we can do it again.
“I went on trial at Wrexham but nothing was going to happen, I just went there to keep myself fit after I left Chester. And then Bayles gave me a phone call and I’ve never really looked back.”
Owen admits that playing against a side from his country of birth does take on extra significance for himself and the other members of Barrow’s Welsh contingent – Bangor-born brothers Mike and Shaun Pearson.
“That’s especially the case at their place, but when they come up to our place you can still hear their fans giving me abuse, and I think to myself, ‘I’ve never even played for you!’,” added Owen.
“But I think I get it because I played for Chester. It gets me more at it, as it does Shaun and Mike, but all the lads like playing against the top teams.
“On Saturday, we played at a big club in Lincoln, and in a massive stadium, so we raised our game and wanted to play good football on a nice pitch. We did really well and hopefully we can do the same tonight.”
Owen was delighted to earn an instant recall to Barrow’s starting line-up before Saturday’s encouraging goalless draw at Lincoln – a game witnessed by a 1,830 crowd – after returning from a two-game ban. The path towards his selection was effectively cleared when 16-goal striker Adam Boyes was forced to cry off with a calf injury. With Bayliss switching from a 4-4-2 formation, to 4-5-1, the combative Owen was drafted in to offer defensive support to fellow central midfielders Alex-Ray Harvey and Richie Baker.
And with Boyes closing in on his own return, Owen knows he faces a fight to retain his place over the coming weeks.
“You always need competition for places because if you haven’t got that, you can take your foot off the gas,” said Owen.
“If we play 4-4-2, we’ve got Alex, Richie and myself available so there’s always competition and you don’t want to be the one that gets dropped.
“Boyesy is our top goalscorer so he’s going to come back into the team so you never know, it (the midfield selection) may come down to who trains the best before the game!
“I don’t think I’m a nice and tidy footballer, so if I play, I think Bayles wants me in there to do my job which is to tackle, get the ball down and pass it nice and simple. Then I get someone beside me, like Richie and Alex, who can pass the ball because they are brilliant in possession.”
First published at 15:55, Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Is that rats I hear scratching,or is it those hiding in the dark,scratching pens on paper, to rubbish BARROW AFC? Must work on those last few minutes of any match.Well played AFC,Owen,DB and fans.Good game,good football, good for football.Good stuff,staying up.
Make your comment
- UPDATE: Barrow and Furness election hopefuls clash in debates
- Barrow man jailed for striking victim with piece of wood
- Rural Cumbria voters are calling for support
- South Cumbria drivers caught out by traffic warden's Sunday morning blitz
- Cumbria runners set for London Marathon
- Landmark Barrow hotel to make way for garage forecourt
- Arson appeal after Barrow shop fire
- Barrow vandals target mobility scooter
- Flog It! finds a priceless day in Cumbria
- Barrow AFC fans traveling south hit by rail delays as person hit by train
- We give Barrow AFC fans the lowdown on Lowestoft
- Superfan’s 6,500 mile trip to see Barrow AFC
- Barrow Raiders need to play as a team - Kendall
- North Lancs and Cumbria League cricket season preview
- Millom out to maintain perfect start
- Holker eye play-off prize
- Sheridan can shine in Barrow AFC title decider
- Lowestoft intent on spoiling Barrow AFC promotion party (2 comments)
- Players know how big this is - Barrow AFC coach Meechan
- Nothing will stop us winning league - Barrow AFC skipper (4 comments)
- Sea cadets prepare for their Big Clean
- Big Clean at Bardsea Beach
- Nation’s tribute for five flying heroes
- Mystery lady to sell at auction for £10k
- Winning village team could get 1,500 fans
- Selling the secrets of ship technology
- Classic cars set to return
- Why the speed trap claptrap?
- TRAVEL REVIEW: Tracing granddad Bert’s footsteps in ill-fated campaign
- FOOD REVIEW: The Plough, Lupton