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Interviews

INTERVIEW | JASON SRAHA

23 March 2022

With eight games under his belt for Guiseley AFC so far since joining on loan at the start of February, it’s safe to say that it has been a productive spell away from Oakwell for Jason Sraha.

The young centre-back, who was part of our first team pre-season training camp at Loughborough, had also appeared amongst our substitutes seven times this season prior to his temporary move to the Vanarama National League North.

“I’m enjoying it, to be fair,” began Sraha. “It’s definitely something where I can learn, not only defensively but even from being in the changing room – it’s just different, so I’m learning a lot from being here.

“We try to play, but every other team that we come up against is just long ball. It’s much more physical and aggressive, and you’ve got to be on your toes at all times.”

As well as dealing with the physical demands that accompany non-league football, Sraha is having to adapt his own game as he becomes accustomed to the wily centre forwards, who know every trick in the book.

His peers at academy level haven’t quite mastered the ‘dark arts’ just yet, but he stressed the importance of staying constantly switched on.

“It’s completely different to under 23s because the nines are sharper and clever as well; they’re not always in your face – their movement is clever, so you have to be sharper with your brain as well,” he continued.

“The elbows and stepping on your toes and stuff at a corner, they’re all part of the play. But it allows me to organise as well, which is important. Say if the forwards were rotating, I’ve just got to speak to my midfielders and be a little bit more aggressive as well.”

The 19-year-old was named as Man of the Match on his Guiseley debut as the Lions secured an important 1-0 victory over Darlington at Nethermoor Park.

Since then, Marcus Bignot’s side have only picked up four points – a run of form that has seen them drop to the foot of the table. But with games in hand on those above, Sraha is confident that he and his teammates can turn their fortunes around.

“We have a couple of games in hand, but they don’t really count for anything unless we win them,” he insisted. “We just need to keep playing how we’ve been playing in recent games – even performances will come with results.

“But beyond the results, we just need to make sure we perform and everything else will fall into place.”

Playing for points is perhaps one of the biggest differences between U23s level and first team football. Although points are up for grabs while within our academy set-up, the overall target is development and pushing for a place in the Reds’ senior side.

Whilst with Guiseley, Sraha is learning the importance of every point won, which he feels will stand him in good stead upon his return to Oakwell.

“It’s much more competitive and I think the fans help with that as well, so it just gives you that extra edge to push either to go on and claim a point or to hang on for all three,” he stated. “You’re playing for points that are valuable to the club, so it means something.

“I hope to learn as much as I can from my time here, but I hope that when I get back I can have an immediate impact as well.”


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