Following on from a brief return to action with two important wins on the road in Welsh League Division One prior to the entirety of Welsh domestic football being suspended, Brandon Arthur caught up with the goalscoring hero of the victories for an exclusive interview. Jackson Hall talks his first goals for the club, familial connections and wanting to play in a more advanced role on Talking Port.
Q: Hi Jackson, thanks very much for your time. Last week was quite the week for you after getting your first two goals for the club. How good did it feel to firstly get that crucial opener at AFC Llwydcoed?
Jackson Hall: It was an amazing feeling to finally get on the scoresheet! I never really follow up on shots, but something inside me that day told me to just run at the goal and luckily it paid off as I was able to slot home to give us an important lead.
Q: While the first goal at Llwydcoed was from close range, the winner at Caldicot was an absolute stunner. How much did you enjoy that one?
Jackson: That was the best goal I have ever scored in my career. I just closed my eyes and put my laces through it! To see it smash the net in front of the away fans was the best feeling ever to be honest.
You’ve been playing in a more advanced role this season, how has that been for you?
I have always said to the gaffer [Mark Pike] to give me a chance in a more advanced role as before coming to the club my natural position was in centre midfield. I have also played for the Royal Air Force at right wing-back so I am quite attacking minded and I feel that gives me the edge when I do play at centre half as I know what strikers think and do.
What’s it like playing in a team with your brother John? Does any family rivalry or competition sneak into play on the pitch or in training?
My brother is my side kick. He has taught me everything that I know so it’s really good playing in the same team as him. In the house I always like to wind him up and tell him I’m much better than he is, but it’s always nice to have family banter. Just never ever go out with him because he is a loose cannon!
After a good run picking up 10 points in the last 4 games, we find ourselves 2nd place in the league. Are you confident we can keep going and get promotion?
All we need to do is to keep buying into what the gaffer has to say and we will get there. This group of lads is tremendous, and we get through absolutely anything. We have stuck through the hard times off the field last season and we have shown how good we actually are on it. We need to be back where we belong.
How difficult was it to deal with the four weeks of postponements prior to the last two games, and do you think that will help during the Covid-19 suspension?
To be honest, it was very frustrating waiting for our games to be on due to the bad weather. We were definitely rusty at times, but that’s why our lads are the best. Even though we didn’t play the nicest football, we still came with 6 points out of 6 away from home.
You’re definitely a leader on the pitch and aren’t shy to talk. Do you think you could again one day captain the club?
After last season of me being the club captain, the gaffer decided to pass the armband onto little Ryan Morgan. Due to my shift work I am not available every single game. Little Ryan Morgan is a massive leader on and off the pitch and it has permeated throughout the squad. Hopefully when my full availability comes back, I could walk the lads out again.
If any, which of your fellow players has surprised you most this season?
Honestly, I don’t think anybody has surprised me as such. We as a whole team have kicked on from last season and really upped our tempo in training and in matches. We have the best defensive record in the league and that all boils down to hard work and wanting to fight for each other.