Lenell John-Lewis is keen to impress manager Sam Ricketts and earn himself a new deal at Shrewsbury as reported by the Shropshire Star.
A nightmare eleven months for the thirty-year-old ended when he returned from his second career ACL with a substitute appearance in the Shrews recent EFL Trophy victory over Macclesfield Town. He followed this up with another late outing in the League One fixture against Bristol Rovers, and he’s now looking to extend his stay at the New Meadow.
Its been a long road back for the thirty-year-old since being stretchered off in an FA Cup tie against Stoke City in January. Shrewsbury stuck by the striker during his recovery, handing him a new six-month deal. However, with his contract set to expire in January, it is fast approaching crunch time for the former Grimsby and Lincoln forward.
Speaking to the Star, John-Lewis was confident he still has something to offer and expressed a desire to be part of Ricketts exciting plans for the club. He said: Of course, I want to stay, the club’s moving places, and I want to be a part of it.’
‘I came to the club to try to help it achieve what it wants to. I don’t want to go anywhere.’
‘It’s been about getting fit, and I like to think that I know what I can do on the pitch, so there’s something there (for me).’
‘It feels like I’ve been here for a long time. I love the club; it’s a fantastic place to work.’
‘Coming out on a Saturday and being in front of the fans – I thank the fans that were at that Macclesfield game (on my return), the reception was unbelievable and to be honest, I didn’t expect it. It blew me away. It’s a fantastic place.’
Ricketts stopped short of saying he would offer his forward a new deal but did praise his character when he spoke to the Star.
The manager said: ‘To be fair to the club it was under no obligation to look after Lenny at all, but the way the club is it thought it was right he was still earning while injured. Not many clubs would do it.’
‘Now it’s a question of what happens next. He’s a good lad. I love his enthusiasm and having him around.’
John-Lewis has scored five goals in seventy-three appearances since the previous manager Paul Hurst signed him two years ago following his release from Newport County.
Its been a long road back for a player with one of the best terrace chants in the business.
Fair play to Shrewsbury for continuing to pay John-Lewis during his recovery.
They didn’t have too, and it is perhaps a sign of the high esteem held for him at the club that they kept him on the books.
John-Lewis is not a prolific scorer but does bring many other attributes to the team, and we would be surprised if Ricketts didn’t hand him a new deal, at least until the end of the season.