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Westley: "Lenny's going nowhere"

FARNBOROUGH Town chief Graham Westley has given supporters more reason to cheer by bringing an abrupt end to speculation surrounding star man Lenny Piper.

FARNBOROUGH Town chief Graham Westley has given supporters more reason to cheer by bringing an abrupt end to speculation surrounding star man Lenny Piper.

Supporters feared that their Player of the Year would leave the club this summer after he was sensationally placed on the transfer list in the middle of last season.

But Westley has now revealed for the first time that his midfield man is ‘going nowhere' despite interest from Nuneaton Borough and Dagenham & Redbridge.

Indeed Piper, who finished joint ninth top scorer in the Conference last season with 15 league goals, has landed a new role for next season — as an out-and-out striker.

Westley said: "Lenny loves me and loves the club, there is no uncertainty about his future. He has been taken off the list and I've got big plans for him next season.

"He's my top scorer and I'm going to play him as an out-and-out striker for next season, I reckon he can get me 30 goals as a front man.

"He's been sensational for us, even when he's been left out the side. He scores goals when he is playing and scores goals from the bench. He will be trying to force me to start him every week and I hope he does.

"Lenny has one season left on his contract and I'm confident that he will sign a new deal before that expires."

Piper, a firm fan's favourite, marked his 100th appearance for the club with his 44th goal for the club in the final league game of the season against Leigh RMI on April 27.

His next aim, however, is to answer fans calls for England recognition — and Westley claims he would be ‘very surprised' if that wasn't achieved during the course of next season.

The boss added: "The reason Lenny hasn't been chosen so far is because I haven't recommended him yet. I would be very surprised if he didn't open a few eyes next season though and put on that England shirt.

"The thing with Lenny Piper now is that he has the belief to change his game slightly and make himself an even better player. I'm very excited with the prospect of having a believing Lenny Piper in the ranks next season."

Piper's commitment to the cause is another step towards fans piecing together Westley's plans for next season. Justin Gregory and Christian Lee have both signed new long-term deals, while Lee Riddell became the victim of the boss down-sizing the squad.

Westley has until the end of the month to announce his retained list for next season with as manay as six of seven out-of-contract players expected to make way for three more arrivals, following in the footsteps of Danny Carroll, who signed from Crawley Town last week.

Westley concluded: "There's no news on the transfer front.

"It's going to be a long pre season. Everyone is going to wait and see what happens with the League clubs.

"There's no doubt there will be a mass exodus from the League clubs.

"It will be much better to be patient and wait and see what happens.

"My players aren't back training until June 11. They're getting some well deserved rest.

"I proposed a Farnborough/Aldershot pre season friendly to them and hopefully it will go ahead.

"Everyone enjoys it. It's good for the area.

"But nothing has been finalised yet."


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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