Lowestoft Town new boy Nathan Stone ready to make step up
Lowestoft Town new boy Nathan Stone is adamant he can make the step up to Ryman League Premier level after signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Trawlerboys.
The Blues finally managed to snare the 27-year-old from Leiston after they had kept tabs on him for the last couple of years and Stone believes he will be able to help the club achieve their aim of Conference football.
'I wouldn't have made the move if I didn't think that I could step up,' said Stone, who made his debut as a substitute in the frustrating 2-2 draw against Tooting & Mitcham last weekend. 'I signed for Gorleston when I was 21 after I was playing park football and I like to think that I have improved every year.
'I could have stayed at Leiston and played every week but I wanted the challenge of coming to Lowestoft. They want to get to the Conference and it would be great to be part of that.
'I've had a lot of clubs but I am looking for my best years to be here and help the club keep improving.'
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Stone's no-nonsense, bustling style could prove invaluable in the end of season run-in with Lowestoft recently struggling on pitches that aren't conducive to their normal fluid passing approach.
The former Kirkley & Pakefield hitman is desperate to hit the ground running but acknowledges he needs to work on his fitness to catch up with the rest of his new team-mates.
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'The squad they have got at Lowestoft is second to none at this level – all the players have got a lot of technical ability and their fitness levels are very good,' said Stone, who wasn't the only new arrival at Crown Meadow last week as Dean Sinclair also agreed a move from Arlesey.
'I'm probably a bit behind them in that regard to be fair.
'There are a lot of very good strikers at the club and after speaking to the management they said they wanted real competition for places for the last 16 games or so.'
Despite Leiston flying high at the top of the Ryman League Division One North, Stone said it wasn't a difficult decision to join the Crown Meadow outfit.
'When a club like Lowestoft Town comes in for you then it isn't hard. They are the best club around here at this level and it's a huge opportunity for me.'