Confidence in the Walsham-le-Willows camp is high again following the arrival of some old faces again as the Suffolk side bid to climb up the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division

Centre-half Nathan Clarke (red) has returned to Walsham-le-Willows from Bury Town

Centre-half Nathan Clarke (red) has returned to Walsham-le-Willows from Bury Town

With some old faces now on board again at Walsham-le-Willows, confidence is now high in the camp as the Willows look to climb up the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division table.

After losing a host of last season’s squad in pre-season, the Willows have had a tough start to the campaign this time around as they loiter around the lower/mid-table breaches of 15th.

But, following the return of some firm favourites, certainly look to be gradually turning their season around.

Walsham go into today’s home game against Whitton United buoyed with confidence after recording back-to-back away league wins over FC Clacton (1-0) and Ipswich Wanderers (3-2), as well as a late 2-0 triumph over Haverhill Rovers in the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday evening.

Duo Jack Brame (striker) and Nathan Clarke (centre-half) are the two figures in question to come back, after trying their luck at Ryman Premier Division side Bury Town for the last two months.

“It’s fantastic to have both players back playing for us,” declared boss Paul Smith.

The duo are dual-registered with higher-division Bury meaning they are eligible for either side, but Smith is confident of now keeping both for the rest of the season.

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Smith continued: “Clarkey has come back to us for good and that’s a real boost for me, the team and the club.

“He’s such an influential player and will give the whole club a spring in their step.

“We’re creating chances but we’ve been conceding too many goals so hopefully Clarkey can help tighten that up and we can start progressing.”

Striker Brame has also initially started playing again for the Willows after falling down the pecking order at Bury.

“Both players wanted to give playing at a higher level a go in the summer and I wasn’t going to stand in their way,” continued Smith.

“Jack had a bit of a set-back in terms of picking up an injury and not finding his feet at Bury.

“He’s slowly growing in confidence here again though, he scored against Wanderers and played well against Haverhill in midweek, and I hope we can keep him for the season.”

Local lad Craig Nurse has also joined from Mildenhall on a month’s loan, with Smith pleased with the forward’s contribution so far.

“Craig’s a local lad who always comes to watch us if Mildenhall haven’t got a game and it’s nice to have him on board, he’s given us a little boost,” said Smith.

With a more-than-capable squad now in place, Smith is hopeful of his side continuing to pick up results.

“We had a bad start but I think if we can get into the top half (come the end of the season) that’d be good,” he added.

“We know we can beat anyone in our league and we’ve stuck together, we’ve got a great team spirit and we’ll grind out results.”

A positive result this afternoon against a similarly on-the-up side in Whitton could see the Willows climb as high as 12th.

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