Feb 21 2013 by Jon Batham, Harrow Observer
WEALDSTONE’S Rikki Banks is ‘expectant’ in two senses of the word just now.
Not only is the Stones’ keeper hopeful of playing a part in three points against one of his old clubs Hendon on Saturday, but by then he could also be a proud dad with his first child due any day now.
Understandably therefore his thoughts are divided between welcoming a new son or daughter into the world with the sleepless nights and nappy changes that involves and his own pressing engagement with a promotion push.
However, with former Stones No 1 Jonathan North not only fit again but back from a loan spell at Hitchin, Banks has no intention of being left holding the baby while his team-mate and rival steals his spot for the run-in.
He said: “I’ll only take paternity leave from work, but it won’t stop me playing football. I’ve already had that discussion with the missus.
“You can’t let Northy too near the gloves because he’ll want to keep them and I’m happy with the way I’m playing, so it is something I don’t want to let slip.”
Banks revealed contingency plans are in place, just in case junior decides to make a match-day appearance.
“Jason Scannell’s wife has my mobile and will send a message to the dugout if necessary, but hopefully it does not happen while we are playing – hopefully he or she will come this week.”
Assuming the imminent arrival sticks to daddy’s timetable, Banks will look to help extend his side’s winning run to four against the Greens where he spent a loan spell in the latter part of last season before turning them down in favour of life at The Vale.
However, Gary McCann’s side are second only to Lowestoft in the form table after securing eight wins and a draw in the last 10 games – a run which has taken them to the safety of mid-table.
Banks knows they will be a formidable test of Stones’ fragile away form.
He added: “Hendon are on a great run. If they had taken their chances in the match down here in December [Wealdstone won 2-1] I think they would have beaten us.
“They have got their belief back now and I would not be surprised if they made a late push for the play-offs.”
JOLLY PUTS PROMOTION BEFORE PERSONAL GLORY – SEE P51