FC Halifax Town returned to winning ways on the weekend, after coming back from a goal down to defeat local rivals Bradford Park Avenue 3-1. The Shaymen remain in the playoffs, with 6th placed Stockport still level on points and Chorley above Halifax in 4th by just four points.
Next up is 11th placed Gloucester City, who will be hoping that a good result at the Shay this Saturday maintains their hopes of finishing in the top half come the end of the campaign. One man they will be looking at to be the game-changer is winger Jack Kotwica.
The Gloucester-born 21-year old is in his third separate spell at the Tigers and has currently scored 8 league goals so far this season. The pacey winger started plying his trade at Cheltenham Town, making his professional debut in League Two against Burton Albion in August 2013, the game ending 2-2.
Just over a year later, in December 2014, Zack scored his first professional goal. With Mansfield Town 1-0 up thanks to Vadaine Oliver’s spectacular 30-yard volley, Kotwica came off the bench in the 72nd minute, and 15 minutes later fired home an equaliser for the Robins. The rest of the season treat Kotwica well, playing 19 times for Cheltenham in all competitions, scoring twice.
His first spell at Gloucester had come in the 2013/14 season, spending five games at Whaddon Road (the home of both Cheltenham and Gloucester), scoring one goal. At the start of the 2015/16 season Zack joined Southern League Premier Division Cirencester Town until January. The loan spell was a highly positive one, with the winger scoring seven goals in 17 appearances.
Despite this fruitful spell away from the Robins, in December 2015, Cheltenham decided they would not be renewing his contract. He spent the rest of the season with Gloucester once again, before the Tigers signed him permanently on a non-contract basis at the start of this campaign.
During his time at Cheltenham, he didn’t just please the Robins’ fans, but also caught the eye of several Premier League clubs with central midfielders Joe Hanks and Harry Williams also being monitored by big name clubs. With Kotwica and Williams both bagging hat-tricks in Cheltenham’s 9-0 thrashing of Bury in the FA Youth Cup, it was no surprise clubs such as Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham and West Ham were keeping a close eye on Zack and his fellow teammates.
The move to the top never materialised for the trio – Kotwica and Hanks both playing at Gloucester, while Williams spent two loan spells at Gloucester before jetting off across the pond to play for Sacramento Republic in California. However, despite not making it to the Premier League, Zack is still enjoying his football at the Tigers, but let’s hope the Shaymen can produce a bigger roar when the two sides clash this weekend.
FC Halifax Town take on Gloucester City this Saturday at the MBi Shay Stadium, kick-off at 3pm.
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