Hampton & Richmond Borough goalkeeper Matt Lovett’s footballing future may not be certain, but one thing is for sure – he will play again.
Lovett broke his tibia and fibula in a reserve team game last season as he made his comeback from a serious knee injury that had seen him miss large parts of the previous campaign.
The Ryman Premier League winner and two-time Blue Square South play-off finalist had been a virtual ever present in the team until the last two injury cursed seasons.
Lovett was an interested observer at last week’s 5-0 friendly defeat to near neighbours for Brentford at the Beveree and is hoping to be off crutches in time for his wedding three weeks time.
But apart from getting back on his feet in time for the big day the other thing driving him is a return to first team football – even if it isn’t at Hampton.
“This is the first pre-season I’ve missed in my football life. It would have been my 18th,” he said.
“Football is all I’ve known.
“I still think I can play again, in fact the steel rod in my leg will help make it stronger and I feel I can still play a high level of football.
“I’m doing my coaching badges, as I want to stay in football when the time comes that I can’t play.
“To be honest, I don’t know where it’ll be, either at Hampton or elsewhere, but I will play again.”
Hampton defender Matt Ruby went under the knife this week to repair a long standing knee problem that forced him out of the run in to last season’s relegation.
Midfielder Tom Hickey is the latest beaver to commit to the coming campaign having agreed terms this week and boss Mark Harper expects more to follow.
“We have a good squad coming together and we are all determined to get back to where we belong,” added Hickey.
Hampton start their season with the visit of Hastings United on August 18 – their first Ryman League game since beating Slough Town in April 2007.