PROMOTION hopefuls Buckland Athletic have bolstered their squad with the signing of striker Jared Lewington.

Lewington returns to his old haunt following a departure from National League South side Taunton Town.

‘I think the ambition the club has got at the minute attracted me back,’ the 28-year-old explained. ‘I’ve always wanted to go up to the next level but at this point they’re wanting to get up through the leagues more than any other time.

‘It’s come together quite nicely with the fact that I’ve recently not enjoyed my football as much, and Dan was straight away there saying that I could come and get back and enjoy football again, which is all I want.’

Lewington spent four years at Homers Heath, netting 80 goals in 148 matches before seeking pastures new. He went on to play for Tiverton Town, Truro City, Torquay United and Taunton Town, achieving his aim of playing at higher levels. Taunton sent the centre-forward on loan to Plymouth Parkway at the start of the 2022-23 season.

‘When I was younger, he said, ‘I would say I was a bit quicker but probably not anymore. [I bring] a bit of presence up front – I like to add a goal or two, which any striker wants to do. I work hard, I’m good in the air and I want to bring others into the play and help the team out.’

Lewington joins the club at a time when they are brimming with ambition. Things are moving in the right direction for the Bucks to make their way up the leagues, with this season serving as a stepping stone before a title assault next term. Lewington is the first man in Buckland’s history to sign as a contracted player.

‘They’ve got everything here to go up and everyone here is backing it,’ he said. ‘We’ve just got to deliver on the pitch. It may not be this season but definitely in the next couple of seasons they will be there or thereabouts.’

Buckland boss Dan Hart, the only other member of the playing operations team to ever be contracted, said of the move: ‘For us, getting Jared on board is a signal of what we are trying to do here.

‘We’re incredibly ambitious; every request that I’ve put to the club has been met, and to bring players in of this calibre will only strengthen us, both on the pitch and off it. We’ve spoken about the right characters being in the dressing room; having more leaders and having people who can lift us in difficult moments, and Jared is certainly someone who can contribute to that.

‘We’ve been monitoring Jared’s contract and how he’s doing at Taunton [Town] since the start of the season. Geographically, he’s local to our club and it was just a matter of waiting for the right moment after his loan at Plymouth Parkway ended and reaching out to see if he would be interested in what we are trying to do here and are trying to achieve.

‘Fortunately, we’ve done enough to attract him to be part of that – it’s incredibly exciting.’