Lowestoft Town winger leaves for Suffolk rivals

Lowestoft Town Football Club 2012- 2013 season.Joe FrancisPicture: James Bass

Lowestoft Town Football Club 2012- 2013 season.Joe FrancisPicture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Lowestoft Town's Joe Francis is set to join Leiston after the Blues agreed an undisclosed fee for the winger with their Suffolk rivals.

The former King's Lynn wide man has called time on his three-and-a-half years at Crown Meadow to join Danny Laws' side 'due to work commitments and to be closer to home'.

Francis believes he would not be able to offer the Trawlerboys the commitment they need next season as they look to shrug off the disappointment of a third play-off failure.

'I've enjoyed my three-and-a-half years at the club and the players, management, chairman, fans, my sponsor and everyone at the club have been so welcoming and brilliant to work with during my time at Lowestoft.

'My move is due to work commitments and to be closer to home. Also my university degree means I will not be able to give my all to the club and help you guys achieve the promotion you deserve and I'm sure will get this coming season. Thank you to everyone at Lowestoft Town Football Club for making my time brilliant.'

Francis, who has also been linked with Needham Market over the summer, was reduced to a bit-part role at Crown Meadow last season with Chris Henderson often deployed down the left flank.

The Lowestoft management team have known of Francis' desire to move on and only last week director of football Craig Fleming revealed that he expected to see movement both in, and out, of Crown Meadow over the next two weeks.

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Joint boss Micky Chapman admitted Francis' departure is a loss to the Blues' squad but wished him all the best on his move to the Victory Road outfit.

'We're sorry to see Joe leave because he's a top player and has been brilliant for us since he signed,' he said. 'However, due to personal circumstances, and wanting to be nearer to his son regarding travelling distances, he told us he could not continue to give the commitment he wants to and that we expect.

'We want to thank Joe for all that he has done for us in his time at the club and wish him all the best for the future.'

Francis is the third player to leave the Blues this summer with Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds crossing the bascule bridge to take up coaching positions at Kirkley & Pakefield.

Lowestoft expect to conclude some incoming business of their own this month to join goalkeeper Will Viner, who signed from Thurrock last month.

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