Marcus Law has expressed his desire to keep Aaron O’Connor at Kettering Town for next season.
The frontman grabbed the Poppies’ second goal as they staged a late fightback to claim a 3-1 success at bottom club Cinderford Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.
With Kettering’s campaign heading for a top-10 finish, thoughts are already beginning to turn to how they can step things up to a promotion challenge from next August.
And boss Law believes O’Connor could be a key factor in it.
The experienced striker joined the Poppies back in September and his strike at Cinderford saw him overtake the now departed Spencer Weir-Daley as the club’s leading scorer this season with 16 goals.
While Kettering’s main issues this season have been with their defence and home form, they’ve had few problems in finding the net with the likes of O’Connor and Rene Howe continually firing in front of goal.
And Law has confirmed a discussion has already taken place with O’Connor as he bids to keep him at Latimer Park.
“He’s a proven goalscorer and I don’t think he’s gone three games without scoring when he has started,” the Poppies boss said.
“He is massively highlighted as a key player that we need to sign for next year.
“We signed him in September and now we have got to the end of March and he has scored 16 goals in that time.
“It makes you think what he could do if he was settled with us and with a full pre-season behind him.
“Those conversations have started but, as ever, people never want to commit too early but we have supported him on and off the field and I think he is relatively happy.
“There’s no doubt about what he has given the team, he scored goals on a consistent basis for us.”
There was also a welcome sight with Kettering’s third goal at Cinderford last weekend.
Youngster Ben Baker, who has endured a frustrating campaign having burst onto the scene last season, came off the bench to wrap things up.
And Law is now hoping to see more of him during the final month of the season, which begins with a home clash against Cirencester Town this weekend.
“Ben did well when he came on and he performed well in the recent Hillier Cup game against Brackley as well,” Law added.
“He’s had a frustrating year with his development. He has been hampered by injury and he was always playing catch up because he didn’t get a full pre-season.
“He also had a frustrating loan spell, which didn’t bring him the minutes he needed but we got him in the game with Brackley to up his time on the pitch and that will hopefully mean he can push on a play a part in the final month.”