Guardian award winner Mettam talks goals, team-mates and future

Worksop Town v Mansfield Town. Tigers player Leon Mettam scores G130710-4o
Worksop Town v Mansfield Town. Tigers player Leon Mettam scores G130710-4o

Leon Mettam might have picked up a host of awards after an incredible season at Worksop Town, but he’d swap them all for promotion.

The skipper, who scored no less than 50 goals for Tigers, said his memories of the 2013/14 campaign would be tinged with regret, after the play-off semi-final defeat at AFC Fylde.

But the winner of the Worksop Guardian Player of the Year award spoke with pride on the efforts of the playing staff and those in charge as he looked back on Worksop’s best season for years.

“For me it’s not about personal achievements, whether it’s 50 goals or the Player of the Year awards, I was more bothered about promotion, getting out of this league,” he said.

“It’s not a great league to play in and it’s really tough to get out of, and we had a great chance this season.”

Weeks have passed since the 3-1 loss at Fylde, but Mettam and his team-mates will forever be left to ponder how they didn’t win the game, having fashioned enough chances to seal several victories.

“You can say it was bad luck, but we’ve scored goals all season and then on the night we couldn’t get the ball in the net,” he said.

“The keeper has pulled off some saves, Dents (Tom Denton) has headed onto the post and if those go in we’re in the final against Ashton who we beat twice – you would have fancied us.”

“Fylde just absored all the pressure and while I wouldn’t say there was only one team in it, we were unlucky.”

But he lauded the togetherness that helped Worksop finish in the top four and at least give themselves a chance of going up.

“It was a great set of lads throughout the season.”

“Everyone was pulling in the same direction, from the gaffer to the staff, to me, the lads, all the way through to Twelly, an Under 19.”

“It was full of good people and good players and I hope we can keep them all together, although I’m not sure of that.”

Mettam admits he’s not sure about a lot of things regarding his future.

Scoring so many goals naturally attracted the attention of other clubs, and his phone has been ringing with offers – although nothing yet from the club he’s called home for two seasons.

“It’s very early to say at the minute, but I’ve had a couple of phone calls.”

“I know these young lads have gone from FC United to Chesterfield, but they won’t be costing Chesterfield an awful lot of money.”

“With me being a bit older and having a job, and probably for Jack (Muldoon) and Dents too, if someone wants to come in for us then they will have to put a really good deal together to get us to quit our full-time jobs.”

“As regards an offer from Worksop, I’ve not had a call.”

“I’m sure we all will get the call because I know the gaffer wants to keep us together, but it will be an interesting summer.”

Worksop Town have until 1st June to make Mettam an offer that is at least equal with last season’s pay, in order to activate an option on his contract.

If they make that offer in time, then – even if he declines – any club who wants to sign him will have to pay Tigers a fee, or the matter will go to tribunal.

The same situation will apply to Tom Denton.