Lewis Warwick thriving at Clipstone FC

Versatility is a crucial asset in modern football at any level at the game.

Lewis Warwick thriving at Clipstone FC

But that skill could become even more important next season in non-league football as cash-strapped clubs look to reduce squad sizes and get more bang for their buck.

And one man who is very well placed to mutli-task is Clipstone midfielder Lewis Warwick.

Warwick, who joined the Cobras in July 2019, made his debut against West Bridgford in the first game of the season and has since gone on to be a pivotal part of the squad.

Warwick, who has played 24 times since joining the club, stands out for his physical presence.

But what perhaps makes him stand out even more is his versatility both on and off the pitch, which even saw Warwick play 90 mins in goal during a 5-2 win over Rainworth when Sam Ogden was injured two days before the game.

Clipstone went into the match on 26th August looking for their first point of the campaign – a fact which Warwick believed helped cool any pre-match nerves.

“My dad was a good goalkeeper when he was younger and I have gone in goal in Sunday league before,” Warwick explained.

“I have always fancied myself as a keeper, I tell Oggy I am the real number one (Sam Ogden).

“It didn’t bother me going in goal and it worked out well, we got our first win and got up and running.

“I wasn’t nervous before. At that point we had no points on the board, if we go in there and get points then brilliant, but we also understood we had a makeshift keeper in goal.

“Had the table been turned and we were top of the league it might have been different, but where we were in the table, we had nothing to lose.”

Off the field Warwick (25) is also proving to be a crucial asset to boss Dave Hoole in his slightly unusual role as club captain.

In his day job Warwick manages private university student accommation with 14 staff and more than 400 students to look after.

And he seems his role in organising various social events aimed at bolstering team spirit at Clipstone as a natural transition.

“I don’t think many people will have heard of having a club captain,” he said. “We try and do our best between between me and Fozzy (first team captain Jason Foster).

“I have known him for a while and it works really well, we have a really good relationship.

“Between us we try to work with the chairman, having five to ten minute chats, or organising nights out. We just want to get the lads involved and keep the team spirit together.

“So come next season we have the same group of lads. If you don’t do that sort of thing you can lose players to other clubs and we try to keep the group tight-knit.

“My day job is a transferable thing to football when you are working with younger lads.

“I would love to go into a coaching role when I finish playing. Coming through school I was involved in training the younger years and managing the school team and other sporting events.

“I have always enjoyed that side of things and grew up having my dad involved as a coach for my Sunday league team. I’ve always seen myself doing something similar.”

Clipstone finished their aborted East Midlands Premier Division campaign in 15th spot after pulling away from danger following a slow start.

And Warwick is confident that that improved form now gives his club solid foundations to build on next time out.

“It’s been a good season for me and the team, to go from where we were to where we are is great,” he said.

“To finish how we did is really good and we have got some good foundations to build on next season.

“With the group we have got now, the addition of two or three older heads to put their arms around the younger players when times get tough and we need to grind out results, will be the key next season.

“We all have hopes as players and we all look to better ourselves. At the start of the season it was mentioned that we don’t want to be in a relegation battle.

“As games and results started to go our way we had another chat. The league tightened up and we were talking about eighth.

“To have that conversation when you look at where we were at the start of the season, where we thought it might be a bit of a battle, is something else really.”

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