Injured star Lee Clarke hopes to be back at St Neots Town next season

Lee Clarke suffered a ruptured Achilles during St Neots Town's final game of the season. Picture: CL

Lee Clarke suffered a ruptured Achilles during St Neots Town's final game of the season. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Lee Clarke is determined to bounce back from the biggest injury blow of his career to star for St Neots Town again.

The popular forward suffered a ruptured Achilles during Saints’ final match of the Southern League Premier Division season last Tuesday.

He is due to return to hospital today (Thursday) to learn whether or not he will require surgery.

He faces a recovery of anything between four to eight months, but he is already determined to be back in a St Neots shirt next season.

Clarke said: “It is by far the worst injury I’ve ever picked up.

“For it to happen in our final game of the season just makes it even more frustrating.

“There was no-one near me, but I was convinced I had been hit by another player due to the pain. It felt like I’d been whacked with a brick!

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“I had spoken to the club the previous day about a deal for next season, but that’s obviously not top of the priority list now.

“I’m all geared up to stay at the club though, and hopefully we can get something sorted.”

St Neots were beaten 4-2 by Chesham in their final fixture of the season. It left them 20th in the Premier Division standings – one place and four points above the relegation zone.

But their mission to survive at this level ended in success despite a major upheavel following the January resignation of David Batch.

That was followed by the exits of several players while interim boss Andy Davies implemented a major shift in the club’s playing style.

Clarke added: “The season became all about survival and we managed to achieve that even though it was tough at times.

“It would have been a disaster for the club to get relegated, but we scraped through.

“The club is obviously adjusting the way it is being run and perhaps going down a different avenue of having a predominantly young side.

“Hitchin are a prime example of what can be achieved when going down that route after they reached the play-offs this season.”