Oldham Athletic and former Spireite Ollie Banks are the hosts for Chesterfield on Saturday and they’ve got off to a better start than many expected this season.
For Banks, who left the Proact in the summer, it has been a ‘mixed’ start but for a 21-year-old, the new season at Boundary Park couldn’t really be better.
Matt Chambers is the Oldham Athletic reporter at the Oldham Evening Chronicle.
He says that the Latics have defied expectations so far in League One, having earned six points thus far, just one fewer than Chesterfield.
“The start to the season has been better than many expected, given the huge turnover in personnel across the summer,” he said.
“Twenty-one new players have come in, with 19 leaving in what has felt like a major experiment in recruitment.
“A 3-0 loss on the opening day at Millwall has been followed by more positive results and had harsh decisions at crucial junctures not gone against Stephen Robinson’s side - who could easily have had penalties at Bradford and at home to Shrewsbury, both providing opportunities to go 2-0 up - then the club could be pushing towards the top-six.”
Banks, who made 102 appearances as a Spireite, but hasn’t nailed down a starting place at Boundary Park yet.
Chambers said: “Ollie has had a mixed start to his Oldham career.
“He almost created an equaliser against Shrewsbury at the weekend with a lovely cross and scored a terrific long-range goal in the 5-4 loss to Carlisle but is not a regular starter.
“He may get the chance to feature in the first XI against his old club as a result of a suspension for fellow midfielder Ousmane Fane.”
Another player who could come into the action when Town make the trip to Greater Manchester is Darius Osei.
“Darius Osei has really caught the eye recently” said Chambers.
“He was plucked from obscurity at Stalybridge Celtic where he wasn’t even a regular starter and the 21-year-old scored twice against Carlisle in the Checkatrade Trophy and has the pace, power and go-getting attitude to trouble defences.
“He may be on the bench again on Saturday but is worth keeping an eye out for.”
Likely line-up (4-3-1-2): Ripley; Law, Clarke (c), Burgess, Dunne; Klok, Green, Flynn; Mckay; Ladapo, Erwin.