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Hornchurch midfielder Lewwis is using lockdown to recover from latest injury

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 May 2020

Lewwis Spence of Hornchurch during Hornchurch vs Bognor Regis Town, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 30th November 2019

Lewwis Spence of Hornchurch during Hornchurch vs Bognor Regis Town, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 30th November 2019

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Hornchurch captain Lewwis Spence was injured and working towards getting back on the pitch when the season came to abrupt halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lewwis Spence of Hornchurch and Omar Folkes of Merstham during Hornchurch vs Merstham, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 15th February 2020Lewwis Spence of Hornchurch and Omar Folkes of Merstham during Hornchurch vs Merstham, BetVictor League Premier Division Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 15th February 2020

However, the 32-year-old midfielder has insisted that he has not stopped his recovery and he is working hard to be fit and ready for next season – whenever that may be.

The former Crystal Palace youngster says he is keen to build on the strong season he had, having netted nine times to help the Urchins into a play-off position in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

“Massively, I think for me when I’ve been available this year, it’s been a very good season from a personal perspective,” he said.

“My return on goals has been good, I felt like I’ve played a big role in being captain this season, which I appreciate the gaffer giving me at the start of the year.

“I’ve picked up some niggly injuries and then I broke my toe against Margate away. When that happened, it was obviously before the pandemic was flaring up in the UK and I set myself a target to get myself right and be hopefully available for play-offs.

“I kind of started my process of moving forward before this all kicked in and even more so now, when we had our first game cancelled, it was let’s see how this pans out, I might be back for more games than I anticipated.

“I tried to look at things as positively as possible and then obviously it’s since been made null and void. But it gives me an opportunity to get myself right and even prolong my career.

“I’m 32, you never know, so maybe instead of having one extra season I might have two or three left in me if I can get my body in the right shape and take a bit more care of things off the field.”

Spence admitted it was frustrating for the season to end in such fashion with the Bridge Avenue club having such high hopes of gaining promotion into the National League South.

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“I think obviously with everything that is going on it is a bit frustrating, but in the grand scheme of things, I think there isn’t any other possibility for it to continue as it was,” he added.

“I think we look at it and think being in the play-off positions we felt we had a very good chance of going up, but then I think you look at the likes of Worthing and how they must be feeling being top of the league and clear, they must be pulling their hair out.

“There are other clubs that are worse off than us in this situation and then at the other end of scale, you’ve got teams that would have been looking at relegation and worrying about how things would have been looking next season, but now they can try preparing better for next season.”

Spence also spoke of how his move to Hornchurch came about and that Mark Stimson coming in probably pushed him on after a slow start to life at the club.

“Tommy South had made the decision to try selling the club (Thurrock) to prospective owners which never worked out and unfortunately he couldn’t get the sale to keep the club going, so the club folded,” he added.

“I had to look for pastures new where I found myself at Hornchurch which I’m really enjoying. It’s a proper club, the fan base is brilliant for non-league level and they’re passionate.

“I had many good seasons with the gaffer at Thurrock and then to be honest when Jimmy McFarlane put in the call and reached out to me two seasons ago I was buzzing to come over and play for Jimmy and for the club as it is my local club to where I live.

“Hornchurch have always been a side that are trying to get promotion and difficult to play against, so I knew what I was coming into, and to be honest my first four months at Hornchurch were difficult for whatever reason.

“We weren’t winning games in the league, we had come up and had ambitions of pushing on, and to be fair the squad was strong if you looked at it on paper and they ran away with the league the season before that.

“It wasn’t working, then unfortunately Jimmy stepped aside so it left it all in limbo, and then the gaffer came in and it kind of gave me a kick up the backside that I might have needed.

“I get pulled aside after games and have deep conversations with quite a few of the fans, but it’s brilliant as I think that is what non-league football is about, you’re in touch with the fans, you hear their opinions and you can relay yours.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed I can see out the rest of my footballing career at Hornchurch if I’m producing what needs to be produced for the club.”


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