Sam Leigh, the former Hemsworth Miners Welfare and Athersley Recreation goalkeeper – now plying his trade at Wombwell Town, after spells with Penistone Churchand Goole Town is perfectly qualified to assess the ‘Access All Areas’ fixture between the teams this Saturday – and he admits that he’s seen more of his former colleagues from Fitzwilliam, writes Colin Muncie.
From a league position perspective, the bottom line is the table never lies and we’re approaching Christmas now,” Sam told us.
“Looking at the games Hemsworth have lost, they never ever get out-footballed and unfortunately it’s usually down to individual errors which have cost them points – that individual used to be me! Athersley are where they are; looking at the squad early on I thought it was a case of square pegs in round holes in most games. In the last few weeks, though, they’ve started picking up vital points and they do seem to have settled down now, I think they’ll be fine.”
Sam rates Hemsworth’s Manager highly and believes that he can lead Wells out of the NCEL. “Benno knows his stuff – FACT – and if anyone could guide them there, he will be the one to do it. I don’t think he would leave the club for any other job, other than probably Bradford Park Avenue, who he mentioned in his Football League Paper article not long ago – but not until he’s achieved promotion.”
The Penguins are an unknown quantity to Sam since he left Sheerien Park at the start of the season. “I’ve not seen much of Athersley since leaving in all honesty – mainly highlights and social media updates. I have seen the odd Hemsworth game and I’ve been impressed on those occasions.”
So what’s Sam up to now? “I’ve put myself in retirement from the semi-pro scene as I’m enjoying my football with new side, Wombwell Town F.C., under Karl Rose and Doug O’Connor,” he told us. “It’s a great little project for me to be part of, and in all fairness through work and family I just couldn’t commit the time and effort to semi-pro football.“
“Wombwell Town filled that gap for me; and the running of the club and the set-up, arebetter than most clubs in the NCEL.”
“I do miss the fans, without a word of a lie,” Sam added. “Both sides are blessed with top, top fans; but Hemsworth’s were unreal. The numbers were guaranteed – home and away – and with the exception of Worksop, you’d be hard pushed to beat that at NCEL level.”