March was a good month for New Zealand International, Greg Draper, with the game against Cefn Druids in particular the one that stands out.
Not only did the popular striker reach the 100 league goal benchmark with The New Saints against Huw Griffiths’ side, but he did it in style, finding the net on four occasions.
It was his second goal that caught Malcolm Allen’s eye, as the Sgorio man chose it as his Goal Of The Month (GOTM). You can view it via the embedded tweet.
⚽⚽ | GREG DRAPER!
— sgorio (@sgorio) March 25, 2018
Following training at Park Hall we caught up with TNS’ number 9 himself to get his thoughts:
TNS: First of all, Greg, congratulations from all of us at TNS for a great March, now topped off by the Sgorio Goal Of The Month.
Greg: Thank you very much, it would have been nice to follow up the four I scored against Druids with a few against Bangor but unfortunately it was one of those days. A mix of poor finishing and some unbelievable saves from their keeper prevented me from adding to my tally.
TNS: You’ve been nominated previously but this is your first award. With some great goals being scored on a regular basis in Welsh football, it must be an achievement in itself to even make the shortlist?
Greg: Yes, it is nice. I’m not one for scoring spectacular goals really, the majority of my goals come in and around the six-yard box, but yes, it’s always nice to be nominated for any award, and even nicer to win it.
TNS: How did it feel, therefore, to have your goal selected from what were other excellent contenders?
Greg: Yeah, it was great and a bit surprising to be honest as you don’t normally see headers winning GOTM. When I saw the list of goals I thought probably Luke Wall’s first goal in the Welsh Cup would have been hard to beat. But I suppose when you look at my header it was quite a long way out and right in the top corner. To be honest, I’ll be surprised if I score a header as good as that again!
TNS: When did you know that you had been chosen?
Greg: It just popped up on the Sgorio twitter timeline, so I had a quick look through the goals and didn’t think any more of it really until my uncle texted me a few days later saying, ‘Nice to see you won Goal Of The Month’.
TNS: Of course, the goal itself. Talk us through it:
Greg: It was straight after half time and Mazza (Chris Marriott) went down the left and put a great ball in the box. I managed to get myself in front of the defender and remember thinking at the time it’s probably a bit too far out for this to cause the keeper any problems. However, I managed to get perfect contact on the hall and direct it perfectly into the top corner.
TNS: On a personal level, flying at the moment – the leading goalscorer in the JD WPL, joining the prestigious ‘100 club’ and now the GOTM award. Its been a good season?
Greg: It’s been a good season, yes, but I think personally and as a team it could have been a lot better. We had a great chance of reaching the final of the Irn-Bru Cup, where we absolutely dominated the semi-final but ended up on the wrong end of the result. Also personally, yes, at the start of the season I would have been pleased with 20-odd goals but looking back now I’m disappointed that I’m not well into the 30s for league goals this season.
TNS: Looking ahead, what can we expect from Greg Draper in 2018/2919?
Greg: Another season, as good or better than this one will be nice. Preferably better! Our main aim now is to give ourselves the best chance of progressing in Europe and hopefully I can score some goals to help with that.
TNS: Thank you for your time today, and again, congratulations on your GOTM award..
Greg: Thanks very much, Rev.
Lead photograph: Greg turns after scoring in the Cefn Druids game. Credit: Brian Jones.