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Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 14:14 UK

Geohaghon hopes for more progress

By Phil Maiden
BBC Sport

Exodus Geohaghon
Geohaghon faces Redditch in a competitive game for the first time

Kettering defender Exodus Geohaghon will be hoping for another season of progress as his side prepare for another FA Cup adventure.

The 24-year-old has risen from the fourth tier of non-league football to facing a Premier League side in the Cup last season in four years.

This season's competition will also begin with added interest for Geohaghon, as he will face former club Redditch in a competitive fixture for the first time when the two sides meet in the fourth qualifying round at Rockingham Road on Saturday.

After a brief spell as a youngster at West Bromwich Albion he went on to play for Southern League sides Sutton Coldfield and Bromsgrove Rovers before making the step up to the Blue Square North.

Geohaghon spent two years at Redditch and his performances in Gary Whild's back four did not go unnoticed as he made another step up the footballing ladder when he joined Kettering in 2008.

The 6ft 5ins defender says he will always have fond memories of his time at Valley Stadium but will not be looking to do his former employers any favours.

Against Fulham there was no pressure. We weren't expected to win the game but giving a good account of ourselves was a must

Geohaghon on Kettering's fourth round defeat by Fulham

"They gave me the opportunity to play for two years," he said. "But come Saturday I'll be focusing on winning the game.

"It'll be good to see Gary Whild again. He texts me occasionally to find out how I'm getting on.

"Redditch are struggling so a cup run would be good for them but there'll be no split loyalties from me. We want to win the game and go on another run ourselves."

Geohaghon's biggest stage so far came in last season's FA Cup when Kettering knocked out the eventual Blue Square Premier champions Burton Albion and League Two sides Lincoln City and Notts County before losing 4-2 in their fourth-round tie with Premier League Fulham.

And those appearances have made him more confident about a future in the Football League.

"Against Fulham there was no pressure," he said. "We weren't expected to win the game but giving a good account of ourselves was a must.

"It's hard to form any views on how you could fair week-in, week-out with one-off games but, from the way it went against Lincoln and Notts County, you feel confident about making that transition."

The England C international scored a crucial goal in the second round as the Poppies drew 1-1 with Lincoln before going on to beat them 2-1 in a replay at Sincil Bank.


And he was delighted to have contributed to their impressive cup run.

"Scoring doesn't come around often enough for me, so when I do I get a real buzz," he said.

"Against Lincoln there was an added buzz because it was so late in the game and the importance of it."

Despite wanting another cup run similar to last season, Geohaghon's focus remains on promotion to the Football League with Kettering.

The Poppies are currently third in the table, level on points with second-placed Stevenage having won their last five games.

And he added: "We definitely have a chance, that is what we should be aiming to do.

"If and when the time is right it surely could happen. Everything has to be right in order for it to happen and anything is possible this season. We're amongst it again so people are always watching."

Geohaghon, who has spent the last two games playing in midfield, was linked with a move to the Football League in the summer before the club confirmed on transfer deadline day that he would be staying put.

And although he says speculation may be flattering, it is not always helpful.

"It is nice to be linked with clubs but it can cause a distraction," he said.

It's hard to tell, so many different factors to assess, but I reckon I could match his distance if not exceed it

Geohaghon on being able to throw a ball further than Rory Delap

"I would definitely like to play in the Football League but until a move happens or we get promoted you have to focus on your game and how you are performing."

Geohaghon, who holds a BA Honours degree in film and video production from Wolverhampton University and played for Great Britain at the World Student Games in Belgrade, Serbia last summer, is also famed in non-league circles for his long throw-ins.

He claims he can reach up to "50 yards" and believes if he went head-to-head with Stoke's Premier League throw-in specialist Rory Delap he could launch a ball further.

"It's hard to tell, so many different factors to assess, but I reckon I could match his distance if not exceed it," he said.

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see also
Kettering sign striker Ashikodi
02 Sep 09 |  Kettering
League tougher than ever - Whild
08 Aug 08 |  Non League

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