Crusaders defender Josh Robinson sets sights on league and cup double

Crusaders Josh Robinson  in action with Ballymenas Allan Jenkins
Crusaders Josh Robinson in action with Ballymenas Allan Jenkins

Crusaders defender Josh Robinson intends to end the season in a blaze of glory!

The big 22 year old heads off early next week on trial with Fleetwood Town - and after that his focus will be on helping his team retain the Danske Premiership title.

But Robinson, formerly with Rangers, will still not be satisfied until the Tennent’s Irish Cup is on display at the North Belfast Stadium.

Although he must sit out tomorrow’s quarter final clash with Carrick Rangers at Seaview - the venue has been switched because of the poor condition of the Loughshore Arena pitch - Robinson insists the cup is very much on his radar.

“As a footballer, everyone wants to win leagues and cups. We are in a good position at the minute,” said Robinson, who this morning is named the Belleek February Player of the Month, nominated by the NI Football Writers’ Association.

“We’ll be playing against Premiership opposition, so it won’t be easy, especially as Carrick have been playing regularly at Seaview of late.

“We are now at the quarter final stage, unfortunately, I’ll miss out. But I’ll be cheering on the lads. We’ve got to the semis for the last three years. It would be great to reach the final.

“The team has been ticking over nicely. We have been picking up vital points and results elsewhere have gone our way. The priority is to retain the league title, but completing the double would be special.”

Robinson has made no secret of the fact that his ambition is to return to full time football.

He adds: “I love the Irish League. It has given me great experience. Hopefully, that will benefit me, especially on the physical aspect of the game.

“The Irish League is a different style. Teams just want to attack. Playing first team football at Crusaders has made me a better player.

“I’ve played in a few positions. Centre-half is my preferred role and I think the boss now sees that.

“I enjoy playing against the likes of Linfield and Cliftonville on a regular basis in front of good crowds. That helps me as a player. I wouldn’t get that at reserve team level.

“My contract is up at the end of the season. Stephen (Baxter) has given me the chance to have a look at clubs.

“If it doesn’t work out, then Crusaders will be the team for me because they are the best in the league at the minute. But I make no apologies in saying that I would love to make it in England.”

Robinson was also aware of local interest, with Linfield being keen admirers.

“I really haven’t thought about that,” he adds.

“My head tells me that I have to make it across the water.”

My agent is doing all the work behind the scene and he had a few clubs line up.

“I’m grateful to Crusaders for letting it happen. It’s up to me to grab the chance with both hands.

“But I certainly don’t want any transfer speculation to take away from our focus of winning the double.”

And, on his first player of the month award, Robinson adds: “It’s a great achievement personally, but it’s a great help when you have the best goalkeeper in the league behind me (Sean O’Neill) and the best centre-half in the league beside me (Colin Coates).

“Hopefully, I can reward them by helping the club to success at the end of the season.”