AFTER spending three months nursing a knee injury, Boston United striker Marc Newsham is back - and ready to re-discover his best form.
Manager Jason Lee described the return of the former Rotherham United striker as being ‘like a new signing’.
However, Newsham’s main aim is to remind the Pilgrims fans of his best form.
He was Boston’s leading scorer in the 2009-10 season, his 29 goals helping United win the UniBond Premier play-offs, the UniBond Challenge Cup and Lincs Senior Shield.
However, he suffered mixed emotions last campaign as he struggled to hold down a regular place in the Pilgrims’ starting line-up.
“It was frustrating being in and out of the side,” Newsham said.
“I can’t blame the managers (Rob Scott and Paul Hurst) for that.
“Maybe it was a lack of form on my part, and injuries and suspensions didn’t help. It all mixed in to make it a bad season for me personally.
“I played my part to get us to the play-offs, but I would rather have played more.”
After picking up a knee injury at Nuneaton Town in April, Newsham had to settle for a seat in the stands for the final three contests of the campaign, including the heart-breaking penalty shoot-out elimination against Guiseley in the play-off semi-final.
And, after beginning pre-season on the sidelines once more, he marked his return with 45 minutes of pitch time against Wigan on Saturday.
He may have grabbed five goals from 20 starts and 10 substitute appearances last season, but his time out has seen Newsham even more eager to find the form that saw him grab 29 goals from 49 starts the year before.
“It feels great to be back,” added Newsham, who has been given a rigorous training routine by physio Katie Cooper.
“Katie’s killed me in the gym, but the knee feels fine now. I just need to get my match fitness back now – sharpness will come.”
After offering Newsham a further contract with Boston, Lee – who took over the reins at the end of last season – is looking forward to working with the striker.
“It’s like a new signing for us,” Lee said.
“I didn’t get the opportunity to work with him much last season as he got injured.
“But we know what he’s capable of and know the fans want to see him get back to being a 20-plus goals striker.
“We know we can get him firing again.He’s been working his socks off in training.”
Newsham now has the battle of earning a regular place in the starting XI.
And that means proving himself against fellow forwards Julian Joachim, Mickey Stones and Mikel Suarez, as well as Ryan Semple and Kevin Holsgrove, who could be pushed further forward.
“There’s loads of options the gaffers can go with, big men, little men, quick men and wingers,” he added.
“But competition is good for a team.”
With Suarez, Stones and even Lee possible target men for the upcoming campaign, Newsham may be going head-to-head with Joachim for the second striker place.
However, Newsham disputes that ‘Jockey’ is his main rival.
He added: “It’s not really about getting ahead of him, it’s about doing the business myself
“I’ve played in the middle and out wide.
“Coming in off the wing gives me more freedom, but playing in the middle is more natural.”