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|PEARS MAKES WILLAND RETURN
Striker Richard Pears has set his sights on firing his way to the top of Willand Rovers' goalscoring charts next season after rejoining the Toolstation Western League club from Southern League Premier Division outfit Tiverton Town.
Pears (pictured) first left Tiverton for Mangotsfield United in January 2004 in a swap deal involving Darren Edwards.
He subsequently enjoyed a goal-laden stint at Exmouth Town in a player/assistant-manager role before moving to Willand at the beginning of last season, where he scored five goals in three games.
In October, Pears made a heroic return to Tivvy to play Southern League football, hitting a hat trick against Northwood in his first home game back with the Yellows.
Now he has decided to rejoin Willand to give himself more time to concentrate on outside work commitments.
The former Exeter City trainee said: "I'm delighted to have signed for Willand.
"My work commitments next year will affect my football, so I had to make a decision whether to go on playing for Tivvy or move down to another level.
"I didn't feel I'd be able to give Tivvy the commitment that I'd normally like to give.
"Willand are an excellent team who have just had a fantastic season, so it's great to return to the club.
"My main aim is to be the top scorer for Willand next season. If the players stay put then there's no reason why we can't challenge for the title."
He admitted Rovers were an attractive club to return to.
"Willand are a nice club, well-organised and they want to be successful, which I think is the main thing," he said.
"Clive Jones is a great manager and a winner - he's very similar to Martyn Rogers. They're both very ambitious."
Pears said he could look back at his second stint with Tiverton satisfied that he did a good job.
"I returned to Tivvy from Rovers just to see if I could play at that level," he said.
"Obviously I enjoyed my time with Tiverton and finished second-top scorer to Jamie Mudge.
"We scored twenty-eight goals between us - one of the highest scoring partnerships in the league - so I was pleased with my performance for the team. It was just a shame that we weren't successful.
"I've spoken to Martyn Rogers and I will sign on as cover for the club - I'm still very fond of Tivvy."
Now Pears is keen to continue to build up his coaching credentials after his successes with Exmouth Town.
"I've asked to get involved in the coaching side to help prepare players for matches, so it's a good opportunity for me," he admitted. "I had a fantastic 18 months with Exmouth helping Russell Wilson and I want to continue with that side of things as well."
Willand finished sixth in the Western Premier last season and manager Clive Jones believes Pears' signing could help the side progress even further up the table this coming season. "I'm really pleased to have him back," Jones said.
"Since Christmas I thought that we needed another striker because we were struggling to score goals. I didn't want him to leave last year and now he's back and the whole picture is looking good. He can score goals and create them too - he's a quality player."
Jones, whose side also made it to the final of the Les Phillips Cup last season, revealed as many as three of his players could be on their way out of Silver Street before the new campaign starts.
"At the moment it seems as if three of my players could be leaving me," he said, adding: "I'm just trying to get them all to stay.
"I've been at the club nine years and every year we look to improve and that's why I've signed Richard. And that's also why I'll be looking for a couple more players too."
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