Less commitments suits Weavers as he provides boost to Stow’s title bid

NEW CHALLENGE: Phil Weavers, pictured playing for his former club Bury Town, recently joined Stowmarket Town
NEW CHALLENGE: Phil Weavers, pictured playing for his former club Bury Town, recently joined Stowmarket Town
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Phil Weavers has revealed the lure of playing with less commitments was behind his decision to drop down two divisions to join Stowmarket Town.

The ex-Bury Town captain left Ram Meadow in October, citing off the pitch commitments as his reason behind leaving the Ryman League Division One North club.

But after signing for Thurlow Nunn League First Division title-chasers Stowmarket earlier this month, Weavers explains the reason behind his return to football is purely based on being able to commit less than he had to before.

“With Stowmarket playing at a lower level, you play a lot less games,” he said. “I think they’ve only got two more midweek games left this season, whereas at Bury you can be playing Saturday/Tuesday all season.

“Bury will always be my club. I still look out for their results and I want them to do well. It was a tough decision for me to leave.”

Weavers made his full debut in Tuesday’s 3-0 derby win at Debenham LC, and the 28-year-old says his new team has what it takes to deliver Stowmarket’s first promotion in the club’s history.

“It’s the club’s ambition to get promoted and it would be a disappointment if they didn’t get promoted this season,” Weavers said. “With the squad that’s there you’ve got players who have played at Ryman League level, promotion has to be the target.

“We played really well as a team (against Debenham). It’s a strong changing room and a great team spirit in there already, and on our day if we play well we can be a match for anyone in this league.”

Stow currently sit in second place in the First Division table and trail leaders Coggeshall Town by six points, but do have two games in hand on their Essex title rivals.

Rick Andrews’ side will see their promotion credentials given a stern examination next month, as they face three top-five sides in January, including Coggeshall and Framlingham Town.

Before that, the Old Gold and Blacks will welcome 2017 in with a home clash against Holland FC (fifth) on Monday (3pm).

n Elsewhere, runaway Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division leaders Mildenhall Town made it 17 league wins in a row with a 2-0 victory at home to Thetford Town.

Stephen Spriggs continued his recent goalscoring form with both of the goals for Hall, who are 16 points clear.

Dean Greygoose’s men travel to Ipswich Wanderers for their first game of 2017 on Monday (3pm), while Thetford (ninth) return to action with a home clash against fellow mid-table outfit Fakenham Town on the same day (3pm).

n Andrew Wood struck twice to help Walsham-le-Willows beat Swaffham Town 2-0 on Boxing Day and pick up their first Premier Division win since October 29.

The Willows had not tasted victory in their previous eight matches in all competitions ahead of facing their fellow strugglers.

But Wood’s 12th and 13th goals of the campaign steered Walsham to a much-needed win, which has seen them move two points and two places clear of the bottom three.

Paul Smith’s side (17th) will be aiming for back-to-back wins when they visit Ely City (18th) on Monday (3pm).

n In the First Division, Team Bury (12th) visit second bottom Dereham Town Reserves on Monday (3pm), looking to get back to winning ways.