MARK Ford has vowed to do all he can to fill the “massive boots” that have been left behind at the Bob Lucas Stadium in the wake of Warren Byerley’s recent departure to Kettering Town.
The young striker shot to prominence for the Terras in the second half of last season when he netted seven goals in 16 outings after making the huge step up from Magna Dorset Premier League outfit Blandford United.
However, even he concedes he has a long way to go to get even close to Byerley’s record for Weymouth, which saw the former fans’ favourite rack up 50 goals in 96 competitive appearances.
Ford told Echosport: “Warren helped me a lot when I first joined and there is no doubt he is going to be missed.
“I wish him luck in what is a massive opportunity for him but my focus now is all about pushing on here and trying to continue the form I showed at the back end of last season.
“Warren has left massive boots to fill and his goal ratio over the past two seasons puts a lot of pressure on the likes of me, Matt Groves and Ben Joyce if he signs, but hopefully we can go on and rise to the challenge by scoring a lot of goals as well.
“This summer we have strengthened the squad with some very experienced players in the likes of Scott Walker, Danny Clay and Barry McConnell, and the midfield in particular is looking very strong, so as strikers we should get plenty of chances.
“The great thing having that type of quality in the side is that when you make a run you know there are people in the side capable of finding you, which gives you huge confidence.”
When asked whether he has set any targets for the new season, Ford replied: “I set myself targets all the time but they are things I would rather keep to myself. If I hit any of them then maybe I will tell you.
“My aim is just to try and push on but I am still new to this level and it’s going to take time.
“As a team we look a lot stronger than last year with the new signings we have made, so the aim is to be looking up this season rather than over our shoulders.
“We performed really well against the top sides last season so if we can just be more consistent this time around and improve our away form, we are more than capable of having a good campaign.”
Ford is also known for his flamboyant goal celebrations which look like they could become a regular feature of his play.
Commenting on his various tumbles, dives and slides, he said: “I will have to speak to the lads and see what we can come up with next. I am sure we can get something sorted.”
Last night Ford came off the bench and twice found the net for the Terras as they recorded a 6-2 victory at Hamworthy United. Joyce also bagged a brace with Groves and Craig Duff completing the scoring.
Weymouth boss Brendon King said: “That was Hamworthy’s sixth game and at the start they looked a little sharper but once we started to get into it and move the ball a bit quicker we soon got on top.
“It was great to see our three forwards all get on the scoresheet and it was another good workout.”
Terras: Evans (Perry 75), Clarke, Frampton , Poole (Jeannin 60), Staines, Walker (Dixon 60), Reed (Wells 60), Clay (Head 70), Duff, Groves, Joyce (Ford 65).