Non League Daily

Rooks Capture Lovett

Jay Lovett has become the latest player to join Ryman League Premier Division club Lewes.

Lovett comes back to the Dripping Pan after a seven year absence and, ironically, after having left to play for the Rooks' boss, Garry Wilson, at Eastbourne Borough.

The experienced centre-back has enjoyed a fantastic footballing career, not only with Brentford in the Football League, but also with Crawley Town, Aldershot Town, Hereford United, Gravesend & Northfleet and Farnborough as well as Eastbourne Borough, at the summit of the Non-League sector.

While Lovett has spent a short time coaching and playing in the Far East, he finished last season at Imber Court, playing for Ryman League rivals Met Police.

He made his debut in the red and black as an 18-year-old, but is better known for his spell at the Pan between 2003 and 2006 when he racked up over 130 games for the Rooks. His return has been welcomed by Garry Wilson and Danny Bloor, as well as his old Borough team mates, Ben Austin and Matt Crabb.

Wilson (pictured) was quick to praise Lovett, saying: "You only have to look at what he's done and see where he's played, to know he is a fantastic footballer. He is a credit to the game, he trains hard, he plays hard, he's dedicated and very, very committed. Jay is definitely one you'd want in the trenches with you, for sure. He is another that brings a wealth of experience with him. Those cold, rainy November Tuesday nights at places like Lowestoft will be where we will see the best of Jay. I think it now but I'll know it then."

Bloor went on: "It's great having Jay join us here. He's somebody I have wanted to work with for a while and I tried to sign him when I was at Worthing but that's history now. He's a Lewes FC player and I'm delighted. This group of players is beginning to gel and we think we've got some boys here that our supporters will really like. It's still early days but once things start to settle down, I think we'll be ok. Jay Lovett epitomises the spirit though, strong, focused, willing and not too keen on coming second. That's a great set of tools to take into games."

Lovett expressed his pleasure at his return, adding: "It's great to be back! I've been a lucky boy playing where I have and for so long now. Lewes FC is a community owned club now and I think that's great and there are still some familiar faces around but it's the fans and supporters I always remember from here. I know, from the gaffer (Wilson), that the average gate at the Pan was among the top few in the league and that was with a struggling side."

He continued: "If we get off to a decent start, I've told the boys we could get over a thousand here every home game. That's incredible but really achievable and some target for everyone at this club to aim for. We could be the envy of loads of Non-League clubs if we can keep the forward momentum going and, from what I've seen already, Garry and Danny are definitely planning for that to continue. I am like an 18-year-old again, I can't wait for it all to start."

Wilson added: "Jay, just like Ben, Ade Olorunda and the others love their football. For them, it's about testing themselves at the highest level they can, for as long as they can. That breeds character and an inherent ability and desire to win. To win their individual battle, to win as a team and, in my experience, you can't have enough of those types. I've said before, Danny and I are really pleased at how things are developing. We are still looking to bring in maybe one or two more but, as our fans will know now, they have got to be right for Lewes Football Club and right for our supporters."



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