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York City's Ryan Jarvis samples taste of goald
LEAGUE Two’s joint-top marksman Ryan Jarvis believes he can carry on hitting the back of the net on a regular basis for York City.
Jarvis’ four goals from the Minstermen’s opening five League fixtures places him alongside Portsmouth’s David Connolly and Freddy Eastwood, of Southend, as the division’s deadliest strikers at this early stage of the campaign.
It is not a position the Fakenham-born 27-year-old is accustomed to, having never hit double figures in a season before.
In fact, Jarvis has never previously managed to hit the target four times by the end of August with mid-November the earliest he has reached that modest landmark in the past.
But, ahead of this afternoon’s home meeting with AFC Wimbledon, the former Norwich and Torquay forward reckons he can extend his current goal streak, saying: “I feel I can maintain it.
“I feel quite sharp so, as long as I keep training properly, I don’t see why the good form and goalscoring can’t continue because, if you are scoring goals, you do feel confident that you can get another one in the next game.”
Having been prolific coming through the ranks at Norwich, Jarvis was given his first-team debut at the age of 16 by current City boss Nigel Worthington when the pair were both at Carrow Road.
He also once scored four goals for England Under-17s in a 5-2 win against Sweden at a time when his international team-mates included James Milner, Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone and ex-City forward Moses Ashikodi.
In total, he netted 11 times in 37 outings for Three Lions teams at U16, U17 and U19 level but he has rarely displayed the same goal threat during a senior career that has taken in ten different clubs.
Jarvis feels the reasons for that are two-fold.
Firstly, he has not held down a starting place at any of his previous employers for an entire season and, secondly, when he has played, he has generally not been used as an out-and-out striker.
At Bootham Crescent, however, an opportunity has arisen to play as the central striker in Worthington’s 4-3-3 formation following injuries to Richard Cresswell and Wes Fletcher and the suspension of Ryan Bowman.
It is a chance he has thrived upon and, commenting on his past goal record, Jarvis reasoned: “I don’t think I’ve ever started more than 30 games in a season because of injury, a lack of form or something else. Hopefully, this will be the season that I play a full campaign.
“I haven’t played as a striker really since my youth-team days either.
“I scored a lot of goals as a kid so it’s something I know I can do if I play constantly up front but, in senior football, I’ve mostly played as a winger, an attacking midfielder or out wide in a 4-3-3 because managers know I can do a job in those positions and, really, I’m not fussed where I play.”
Jarvis also claimed he was unaware of his lofty position in the current goal charts, adding: “I didn’t even know.
“One of the lads told me this week but I don’t pay much attention to these things.
“I’m not too concerned about it and I would be happier if the team started picking up points and I wasn’t scoring.”
Jarvis certainly needs more support in front of goal with the current squad having set a new club record due to his name still being the only one on the team’s scoresheet six fixtures into the new season.
But the lone marksman is adamant that is about to change.
“We’ve got people like Richard Cresswell, Wes Fletcher, Ashley Chambers, Ryan Bowman and Michael Coulson who are all capable of scoring themselves,” Jarvis stressed. “There are definitely goals in the team and I think we have looked quite threatening during the last two games so we will definitely start scoring more goals soon.”
Nor is Jarvis concerned by the club’s current position of 20th in the League standings, saying: “It’s still early days.
“We’ve only played five games and I think you can only tell by Christmas where teams are going to be.”
Off the pitch, City have appointed former Chesterfield and Rotherham goalkeeper Alan Stevenson as a commercial consultant.
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