John Sands targets 25 goals for Leiston in Ryman Premier League

Leiston's John Sands, in action for Bury Town

Leiston's John Sands, in action for Bury Town - Credit: Archant

Leiston striker John Sands has issued an ominous warning to rival Ryman Premier defences as he battles back to fitness.

His Twitter biography states he scores goals ‘for fun’ and, confident as ever, the former Bury Town and Canvey Island striker has threatened to ‘hang up his boots’ if he does not score at least 25 goals for the Blues this season.

A former winner of the division’s “Golden Boot” when playing under current boss Richard Wilkins at Bury, Sands has recently undergone a double hernia operation and is raring to go again as Leiston look to improve on the last two seasons’ ninth-placed finishes.

“I want to let people know that I will coming back with a bang and I hope people have not forgot about me, because they will soon be remembering me again,” said Sands, who also spent a spell at Conference South side Chelmsford City last season.

“I will be disappointed if I don’t score 25 goals in a full season – I might as well hang my boots up! I am confident and I will be going for the Golden Boot again.

“I won that award when I was at Bury a couple of seasons ago and I had some great service from my team-mates. I will need that again next season.”

Sands was in the wars last season and the striker was playing through the pain barrier when he suffered a further setback in just his second game for Chelmsford – a side he was dual-registered with along with Bury, last season. Sands signed for the Essex side last November and added: “I was playing (through the pain barrier) all last season and I had an operation booked for my hernia when I signed for Chelmsford.

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“They thought I was looking sharp though and asked me to put the operation back.

“I was feeling good but then I got two-footed in the ribs in my second game, just when I felt I was giving opposition defences a run for their money.

“It just got to a breaking point and my operation was brought forward.”

Having undergone the surgery and with his ribs now healed, Sands has been putting the hours in at the gym as he battles back to fitness.

Hopefully a more positive season is on the cards for the frontman, who endured an indifferent second spell at Bury, who were eventually relegated from Ryman Premier, at the start of the year.

“I have had the surgery privately and I am starting to feel a lot stronger,” revealed Sands.

“My legs have never felt like they do now and I have been stretching during the day and going to the gym.

“It’s a slow process though, I don’t think I will be haring around in pre-season.”

He added: “Last season wasn’t the best, but every player has spells like that in their career.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Leiston, especially Richard Wilkins and (chairman) Andy Crisp for their support and help through my operation.

“I am looking forward to repaying them and giving it my all.”

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