By Stephen Kent
Since joining Eastbourne Borough last summer, Chris Shephard has become one of the most popular players in Tommy Widdrington’s squad, and now he is looking to kick on and improve on his injury-hit first year.
“Last season I had quite a bit of bad luck,” said the attacking-midfielder, who scored three times in 24 league games for Borough.
“I do keep myself fit off the pitch, I eat well and do everything right. So as long as I take care of myself on the pitch, then I should have a good year.”
After joining the Sports from League One side Exeter City in July of last year, Shephard hit the ground running, scoring in their 3-0 win over Bromley - Borough’s first home game of the season.
And since then, the 5ft, 6” 24-year-old has become a popular figure at Priory Lane.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far, everyone’s been really welcoming. Not just the rest of the team, but the chairman and the rest of the staff helped me fit in straight away.
“The fans have also been great to me, even with all the injury problems I had last season.
“I just hope I can reward them this year with even more goals.”
Speaking about the three-division drop between League One and the Conference South, Shephard admits he was just happy to find a new club so quickly after Exeter, his home club, were relegated.
“There are great players that drop out of league clubs and can’t find anywhere to go. So I consider myself lucky that Tommy took me on and that I was able to slot in with the squad straight away.
“The main thing for me is enjoying the football that we play and getting a strong feeling that we can go places and challenge for promotion as a team, that’s what I feel I am getting here at Eastbourne Borough.”
Apart from keeping up his fitness levels, Shephard maintains that he has just one goal for the upcoming season.
“Score more goals! I’m also going to take the easy route out and say that I am just going to take it one game at a time.
“But obviously I want to be more creative in the final third of games and find the back of the net more often.
“That’s what I am in the team to do, create and score more goals, and that’s my main aim.”
Shephard is ecxpected to be in the starting line-up for the trip to Weston-Super-Mare tomorrow before Borough’s first home game of the season against Tonbridge Angels at Priory Lane on Tuesday.