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Jack Walker | "It's been great to get the run of games and hopefully it continues."

He was a new signing over the summer, but Jack Walker has settled in quickly at The UTS Stadium and has been an ever-present in the Dunston defence over recent months.

The club currently sit in 7th place in the Northern Premier League East Division, just four points outside the play-offs, and with two or more games in hand over every team above in the league table. Walker has discussed the performances on the whole so far this season.

"I think we've produced good performances overall, but we just haven't got some of the results that we should have.

"Conceding goals in the last couple of minutes of games has cost us some vital points. Then the breaks between games due to the weather isn’t really helping with momentum but, after the Grimsby and Winterton games, we showed that we can grind out a result and also that the breaks haven’t impacted us too much."  Walker said.

Walker was among a host of players who Jon McDonald recruited over the summer from North Shields, joining the likes of Chris McDonald, David Robinson and JJ Chrisp.

"It’s been great, the changing room is good craic, and the lads have welcomed us all in. 

"I’ve been made the designated ‘Fine Man’, which I think has helped me get to know everyone. Particularly those who ask why they’ve been fined every week."

Walker enjoyed a good first pre-season with the club, but he had to patient in the very early stages of the season. Now the 33-year-old defender has started the last 12 games for the club in all competitions, keeping four clean sheets over them games.

"Yeah, I thought I did all right in pre-season, and I was looking forward to potentially starting the first game of the season, but I was reminded by my better half that I was away at a wedding, so I missed the first game. 

Then the lads did well so I just had to wait to get a chance. It’s been great to get the run of games and hopefully it continues." Walker added.

As well as commonly featuring in the centre of defence, Walker has also operated at both right back and left back in games against Ashton United and Gateshead in cup competitions.

"I’ve never really thought about versatility as a strength. I just like playing football, so as long as I’m on the pitch, I’m not really bothered where I play." Walker added.

Walker also scored his first goal for the club a nearly three weeks ago in the 2-1 away win at Grimsby Borough. The deflected header early in the second half turned out to be the winning goal which got Dunston back to winning ways after four games without a win in all competitions. 

It is probably safe to say that goalscoring isn't exactly what Walker is renowned for.

"I might have scored a few winners on a Sunday, but I know I haven’t scored many goals on Saturdays, never mind winners!"

Next up for Dunston is a home game (3pm kick-off) against fellow play-off chasers, Carlton Town, this Saturday at the UTS Stadium. Come down and support Jon McDonald, Jack Walker and the rest of the squad as we aim for three consecutive league wins.

Tickets can be purchased on the gate: Adults (£10) | Concessions (£6) | U16 (£3) 

We will communicate on our social media pages ahead of the game if a pitch inspection is scheduled.

By Callum Pattison

Image Credit - Beauty Time Photography

Published Wednesday 29th November 2023