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Lakenheath striker Shaun Avis selects his All-Time best XI




Over the years Shaun Avis has built himself a reputation of being a centre-forward that has the useful knack of knowing where the back of the net is.

He has proven himself on numerous occasions, turning out for the likes of Mildenhall Town, Newmarket Town, Saffron Walden Town and currently Lakenheath.

Here, Avis has looked back over his team-mates past and present to pick out his All-Time XI.

FOOTBALL: Lakenheath v Norwich CBS Shaun Avis scores Lakenheath second goal Picture by Mark Westley. (32837062)
FOOTBALL: Lakenheath v Norwich CBS Shaun Avis scores Lakenheath second goal Picture by Mark Westley. (32837062)

GK: Floyd Croll

I have played with some very good goalkeepers like Alex Archer, Josh Pope and Tom Coombe now at Lakenheath, but Floyd is my pick.

He was brilliant for us at Saffron Walden during our promotion-winning campaign. He was consistent and held shots that other 'keepers would have parried away. He also made big saves at key moments.

LB: Ricky Cornish

Ricky was a natural leader with a great left foot. I also played with Joe Asensi at Mildenhall and thought he was fantastic, but Ricky gets in for his experience and leadership.

Newmarket Journal - December 2013..Mildenhall v Woodbridge.Ricky Cornish. (32837137)
Newmarket Journal - December 2013..Mildenhall v Woodbridge.Ricky Cornish. (32837137)

He always kept himself in great shape and that showed because he was still playing at a good standard into his late 40s.

I learned a lot from him playing at Lakenheath – he always demanded high standards.

CB: Colin Vowden

Vowdy was similar to Ricky in terms of being one of the leaders at Lakenheath and when I was at Newmarket the first time around. He was so consistent and I don't think I've ever seen him lose a header.

I actually played right-back when I was younger and he was never shy in letting me know that I was out of position! I soon learned it wasn't the position for me!

Football action from Newmarket Town vs Felixstowe - Colin Vowden on ground, David Grainger. (32837196)
Football action from Newmarket Town vs Felixstowe - Colin Vowden on ground, David Grainger. (32837196)

CB: Stuart Wardley

Stuart was fantastic for me at Walden. He played for a while and he was also my manager – you could always approach him.

He helped me improve so much as a player, just by talking to me and letting me go out there and play my game.

As a player he was fantastic – he could really play. His passing was ridiculous – he'd spray 50 yards passes out wide so easily.

RB: Spike Bell

I'm sure Spike has played way more than 400 games for Walden now and scored over 100 goals during that time.

He'd overlap from full-back all game long and never stopped. His crosses were always decent and I scored quite a few goals from them.

Spike was always at least an eight or nine out of 10 every single week.

LW: Paul Betson

The nicest bloke in football! His engine was unbelievable. When I first came through at Newmarket I remember him demolishing everyone in the fitness tests during pre-season – he tore us apart.

He set the example for everyone and was a great player as well. Paul was so consistent and had great vision.

Newmarket Journal - 19th September 2009....Newmarket v St Neots - FA Vase..Paul Betson tries to lose his marker....Pic - Richard Marsham. (32837432)
Newmarket Journal - 19th September 2009....Newmarket v St Neots - FA Vase..Paul Betson tries to lose his marker....Pic - Richard Marsham. (32837432)

CM: Luke Butcher

Butch was a midfielder when we played together at Lakenheath and what a leader. He was strong, a tough tackler and he never pulled out of anything.

I have played against him down the years and got out the way of a few of those challenges!

If you played with Butch, there will not be many that leave him out of their All-Time XIs.

CM: Reece Clarke

Reece is a current team-mate at Lakenheath and we have struck up a good bond. We link up really well.

22/02/2020, Lakenheath, England. ..Football action from Lakenheath v Debenham LC - Reece Clarke (L) and James Whatling (D) ..Photo by Mark Bullimore. (32837479)
22/02/2020, Lakenheath, England. ..Football action from Lakenheath v Debenham LC - Reece Clarke (L) and James Whatling (D) ..Photo by Mark Bullimore. (32837479)

He is a forward-thinking player, technically he is very good and he likes to beat a man.

He sees forward passes and for a centre-forward like me that is important. I know I can make runs and he will be looking for me.

RW: Craig Calver

At Walden he was untouchable at times. Teams would often double up on him and he would still deliver into the box.

He was a centre-forward's dream because even if he had the ball in our half,you knew he'd end up getting in a cross.

FOOTBALL: AFC Sudbury v Mildenhall Town in the FA Cup..Pictured: Jack Newman (S) and Craig Calver (M)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (32837519)
FOOTBALL: AFC Sudbury v Mildenhall Town in the FA Cup..Pictured: Jack Newman (S) and Craig Calver (M)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (32837519)

He had this ability to roll people and then get away from them. There was so much quality about him and he provided me with a lot of tap-ins.

CF: Dan Brown

One of the regrets from my time at Mildenhall was that I did not get to play with Dan more often. During the times we did play together – particularly in pre-season – we linked up well and both scored goals.

Dan doesn't get the credit he deserves. He's a bit raw, but he is a real handful. You can put the ball into the channel and know he is going to run it down. He also had one of the hardest shots I've ever seen.

It is great to see him showing what he is all about at Step 4 with Histon.

Mildenhall Town v Saffron Walden Town..Dan Brown Mildenhall..Picture Mark Westley. (32837555)
Mildenhall Town v Saffron Walden Town..Dan Brown Mildenhall..Picture Mark Westley. (32837555)

CF: Danny Hill

I only played one season with Danny at West Wratting, but what a player he was.

Between me, him and Callum Harrison we scored 72 goals and Danny was injured for a bit of that season as well.

He only has sight in one eye – try covering your eye and playing football! That is what Danny has to deal with but his ability is frightening and he could have played considerably higher.

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