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Soham Town Rangers player-coach Lloyd Groves departs to join Cogenhoe United

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Player-coach Lloyd Groves has called time on his second spell with Soham Town Rangers.

The centre-back originally joined the Greens ahead of the 2016/17 campaign and famously scored twice (including the winner) in their final day 4-3 victory against Maldon & Tiptree – a result that secured Soham's Step 4 status.

He then left for stints with Newmarket Town and St Ives Town, before returning early on in 2018/19 as part of manager Robbie Mason's coaching team.

Lloyd Groves wheels away to celebrate his last-minute winner against Maldon & Tiptree in 2017. Picture: Mark Westley
Lloyd Groves wheels away to celebrate his last-minute winner against Maldon & Tiptree in 2017. Picture: Mark Westley

However, after 98 appearances and 12 goals in a Soham shirt, Groves has opted to take up a player-assistant role at Step 5 outfit Cogenhoe United.

In an open letter to Soham fans on the club's website, Groves said: "To my beloved STRFC faithful. I, with a heavy heart, announce my departure from Julius Martin Lane. A club so close to my heart and one that has allowed me to grow into the coach and person I am today.

"There are far too many people to thank during my time at Soham across two stints. But I want to say a special thank you to Robbie and Erkan for giving me an opportunity when I was left in the wilderness; their class and professionalism has been nothing short of remarkable and I will hold them at the highest regard for that, two people I will always go to as my friends more than anything.

"To Mr Goldsack, the board of directors and staff behind the scenes, thank you so much for your ever-present support and patience! I haven’t always been the easiest to work with, especially my temper at times on the pitch, but you’ve stuck by me/us through thick and thin.

"To the players, past and present. Without your buy in, your enthusiasm, your endeavour, and your desire to improve and develop I wouldn’t be where I am today. You’ve helped me to grow and overcome challenges that I never thought possible and I thank you for that. Again, I have made friends for life wearing a Soham shirt and I’m forever grateful for that.

"And last but not least, the beautiful fans behind this wonderful football club! What more can I say, other than thank you! Thank you for sticking up for me, thank you for accepting me into your green family for who I am and thank you for being a part of the best moment I will ever have on a football pitch. If I am loved half as much as I am at my new club like I am at Soham, I know I won’t have done half bad!

"So, I sign out with a tear in my eye and I vouch to you, let’s not say this is end! but only the closure of the chapter! From one Green to another – once a Green always a Green."

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