Hemel boss Brennan backs on-loan Banton to make it to the top

Zane Banton in action for Hemel Town FC against Basingstoke Town. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Zane Banton in action for Hemel Town FC against Basingstoke Town. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan is tipping on-loan Luton Town forward Zane Banton for a bright future as the youngster continues to impress at Vauxhall Road.

Banton, 18, is currently enjoying his second stint with Hemel after the Tudors agreed a deal with Luton to secure his services until the end of the season.

Oliver Hawkins has been on top form for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Oliver Hawkins has been on top form for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

The speedy youngster was man of the match for Hemel against Staines Town in Tuesday night’s Conference South clash, and Brennan says Banton has the talent to make it to the very top.

“Zane Banton has a great future in the game,” said Brennan. “He will be a player just because of his work ethic alone, as well as his ability.

“When he starts filling out and becoming a man – he’s still only a boy at 18 – he will be a seriously good footballer.

“The biggest thing with Zane for us is that he needs to score more goals and it’s something he challenges himself to do because he’s got a great attitude.

Hemel captain Jordan Parkes has been leading by example. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel captain Jordan Parkes has been leading by example. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

“He’s a brilliant pro and we thank (Luton manager) John Still for letting us have him for the season, because they rate him really highly at that football club. They see a potential Premier League player.

“We’ll see what happens with Zane next season, he’ll go back to Luton for pre-season and then they will make a decision based on how his pre-season goes.”

Brennan had a stint as a player at Luton early in his career, and he has maintained good links with the Hatters – something which is now paying dividends as a manager.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with Luton, and if there are any of our players that can go and challenge themselves at League Two level, then obviously that will bring in some good business for us,” said the Hemel boss.

As well as Banton, Brennan has heaped praise on in-form striker Oliver Hawkins and skipper Jordan Parkes – both of whom have been banging in the goals this season to put Hemel within touching distance of the playoffs.

“We’ve had scouts from all levels coming to look at Hawks,” said Brennan. “Not many people believed in him when he first came to the football club. People just thought he was a tall, gangly centre-forward, but we knew what we could see in him because we know the game and we have been proven right.

“The lad will have a professional career; he’s got a great attitude, he’s a young lad and has great, great attributes.

“There’s not many players like him around these days, and he’s prepared to work his socks off and make sacrifices.

“With that you get success. Hopefully we can have him for some time to come, but we will see how that one develops.”

Speaking about captain Parkes, Brennan added: “Jordan Parkes is priceless to us and I’m just amazed that no-one has come in for him. Anything that falls to him around the box, you just think ‘goal’.

“He’s an outstanding finisher and he leads by example so we are delighted to have him. He’s a local lad who is proud to be captain, and he’s done a fantastic job since coming here.”