The 2017-18 season is recognised as a new chapter in the history of Shrivenham Football Club, with Matt Hirst taking up the Chairmanship and with new management quickly being brought in, the re-building process began.
New players began to arrive at the club and with promotion to the uhlsport Hellenic Premier League achieved at the first attempt, improvement continued the following year and a massive total of 48 players were used by the First XI throughout the campaign and one of those was Liam Walters (pictured).
Having left his family behind in his native New Zealand, Liam was hoping to progress his footballing experience however during time with Swindon Supermarine, he suffered an injury and as part of his recovery programme, ended up at Barrington Park to regain match fitness under previous manager Gareth Davies.
“I was unfortunate to suffer a tear to my lower abdominal whilst with Supermarine, but as I returned from injury, the opportunity to gain First Team football with Shrivvy came about so I jumped at the chance,” the said from his new base just outside Sydney, Australia.
“It’s important to gain fitness at the right pace and help get minutes back in the legs so it was a good move for me at the time.”
Liam only made four appearances in a Shrivvy jersey – but his signing coincided with an epic run of 17 league games without defeat [and all but two of those were victories] – a run which helped secure a club record finish of 5th place in the standings.
“Unfortunately, my spell at the club was cut short as my injury began to get worse, so I had to make the decision to stop playing and focus solely on recovery,” he continued.
“It was a great shame because during my time at the club, we were playing great and got on a very good winning streak, the atmosphere and attitude was full of confidence and belief going into every week. We were loving playing.”
Having left Barrington Park, Liam was forced to focus on recovery and he continued: “Months went by and my injury seemed to have hit a brick wall and was just not improving.
“After having a rough time accepting defeat, I decided to make a fresh start and made the move to Australia to join my sister and her family and continue recovery there.
“My plan was to take a season off and just make sure I healed properly and fortunately for me, it was the right decision and the injury made a drastic improvement and suddenly became a lot more useable - with caution of course. The lockdown happened not long after that which gave me some more time to recover and get some more running into my legs and recently, through a contact I was suggested to Hornsby Heights Football Club. I went along and the lads and the Coach were very welcoming which meant I immediately fitted in and felt a part of the team. A contact has also suggested me to Sydney Football Club [who play in the A-League] and I’m in contact with scouts who will be keeping an eye on my progress, so if I continue to improve, I hope to be offered a trial in the future but I’m not taking anything for granted and am just getting my head down and am enjoying my football a lot with Hornsby."
“I’m going to work as hard as I can for the team and see where the opportunities take me. All in all, I’m just happy to be playing again.”
Everybody at Shrivenham Football Club wishes Liam the best of luck, and it would be great to know that we played a small role in his success if he does make it to the A-League in the future.