THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

AFTER signing at the start of the 2017/18 season, Lee Jackson has cemented himself firmly as a crucial player not just on the pitch, but also off it.

In the last week, I caught up with Lee to discuss his thoughts on the season that never got to be and how the FA’s decision will be turned into motivation for the next season.

Jackson, who’s made 92 appearances for the club, described playing for 1874 as an “experience I’ll never forget.”

He continued: “Having time to look back and reflect it’s been nothing but a pleasure to play for 74.

“I owe Scotty (McGowan) a drink to thank him for convincing me to join. He said ‘it’s a great club to play for and you won’t have experienced anything like this before’ and true to his word it’s incredible.

“It’s an experience I’ll never forget and that’s down to all the fans, players and management who make it a pleasure to play for 1874.”

At the start of the season we suffered a series unprecedented injuries which saw Lee move across from his natural left back to centre half.

When asked how he found the move to play alongside Mark Jones at the heart of the defence he said: “I’d hate to admit it’s been rather enjoyable!

“It’s been an interesting adjustment, especially when the first game I played there was against Carl Grimshaw, which at this level couldn’t be much harder.

“It does help when you’ve got someone of the quality of Mark Jones alongside you.

“The quality he has is immense, he’s the focal point of the back five and when someone like Mark sets the standard so high, you have to raise your game with it!”

The decision to null and void the season was one that disappointed everyone, however Lee, like many others wants to use this as motivation to finish what we started.

He added: “In all honesty my first thought was never to kick a ball again.

“Seasons like the last one are hard to come by and next season will be a lot harder than the one just finished.

“I know that the togetherness and desire within the squad is there and will be why we can go on and achieve what we did last season and get what we deserved next year.

“The players want to achieve that and the fans deserve that opportunity to witness promotion and that alone is enough motivation to go again next season.”

Finally, in a message to the fans, Jackson said: “We wouldn’t have been where we are without you!

“I hope you and your family are staying safe at this time, thank you for all your support over the last 12 months and we are all looking forward to seeing you soon!

“The fans are so important to the club especially to us as players, it’s really what makes the 1874 so different to most other clubs.”

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