Weather is blessing in disguise for the skipper

Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Tigers player Leon Mettam G131016-1g
Worksop Town v Stafford Rangers. Tigers player Leon Mettam G131016-1g
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The horrendous weather sweeping the nation might be the curse of non league football, but it’s a blessing in disguise for Leon Mettam.

Worksop Town’s talismanic captain and leading goalscorer has featured just once in 2014, in a substitute appearance, since injurying his ankle back in December.

But he would have missed more action had it not been for the rainfall that caused the postponement of Tigers’ games against Buxton and Nantwich.

The striker admits that he’s not sure how match fit he is, but he can’t wait to be starting games again for Mark Shaw’s Worksop.

“The good thing is I’ve missed four or five games over the new year period, January and February and I haven’t missed as many as I could have done.”

“I don’t really know how my fitness is, I’ve only had a couple of training sessions and I can still feel the ankle.”

“With all the time off it’s getting better, but the gaffer still pulls me out and tells me to stay off it as much as possible.”

Although Mettam did make a return to action at Witton, when he came off the bench to score a dramatic equaliser, it wasn’t the perfect comeback he wanted.

He explained: “I was struggling a little bit.”

“Jack squared one to me when he probably should have shot, and I’ve stretched for it and bent the injured ankle right back.”

“But I ran it off, and that was a couple of weeks ago.”

“It was only 15 to 20 minutesa and you can’t judge where your fitness is from that.”

The injuy layoff, followed by a period of time in which almost every game requires a pitch inspection, is a source of frustration for a man who has scored for fun all season.

“I love football, live and breath it and I want to be playing every minute of every game,” he said.

“I just want to get back scoring goals, get Worksop back to winning games.”

“It’s tough, preparing for games that you know in the back of your mind might be postponed is frustrating.”

“But we’ve got a great set of lads down here and this little rest will only work in our favour, we’ll all come back fit and hungry.”

Missing several games has also forced Mettam to reassess his goalscoring target, having netted an incredible 37 goals so far during the campaign.

Despite his layoff, he’s still 10 goals clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League scoring chart.

“Before I got injured I wanted 50, that’s an incredible amount at any level,” he said.

“I’ve targetted 40 league goals now, that’s eight more and I’d be absolutely delighted with that.”

“Personal achievements aren’t as important as getting promoted though, I’m here to do well for Worksop Town.”

One of the veterans in Shaw’s set-up, Mettam’s injury has given him the chance to cast his eye over youngsters waiting in the wings.

“The gaffer is bringing in young lads who are hungry and want to do well.”

“The squad is very, very good and wouldn’t look out of place in the Conference North.”

“Evan Garnett came in and scored a good goal at Barwell, he’s looked sharp.”

“It’s going to be tough for anyone to get into the starting 11 when we’re all fit and performing to the best of our abilities,” he added.