Saturday 11th September 2004
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Watts enjoying life at ambitious Fisher

EYEBROWS were raised when striker Steve Watts rejoined Southern League Division One East club Fisher Athletic in the summer.

And after scoring 10 goals in just seven games for the table-toppers, it appears that those sceptics were right - he is clearly playing at a lower level than he should be.

Even Watts and Fisher manager Wayne Burnett agree he should be at a higher level. So why has he come back after a successful Football League career at Leyton Orient followed by stints at Lincoln City, Shrewsbury Town and with respected non-league sides Welling United and Dagenham & Redbridge?

"It's the ambition of the club," said Watts.

"I know I could still be playing in the Football League, but after being mucked about at a couple of clubs where I wasn't getting games I thought it was about time I got back to playing football.

"I heard what Fisher were doing, and the players they were bringing in and knew it would be a good move. So I signed for one year and we'll see how it goes.

"We should go up this season, as long as we keep focused. It's going well at the moment and if everybody stays on board this club could get to the Conference. That's the aim, and then anything can happen."

At 27 now, Watts would be entering his 30s if Fisher were to make it to the Conference.

He said: "I would love it if we did it and I would be around 30 then and it would be great to then try and get Fisher into the Football League. I'd still have plenty of years left in me. Just look at Teddy Sheringham - he's still going well into his late-30s."

So if all goes to plan, Fisher, helped by Watts, could become a real force in the non-League game once again, and then who knows?

But Watts doesn't want to get too carried away right now.

He said: "For me personally I would be aiming to get 30 to 40 goals this season, but that's only if I can steer clear of injuries. If I got injured it could be hard to get back in the side as there are players here who I think can also play in the Football League."

One of those is strike partner Leon Braithwaite, whom he played with at Margate, Dagenham & Redbridge and Welling United.

"He's a quality player, but missed a lot of pre-season so isn't fully fit yet," said Watts.

"So he will be getting better as the games go on."

Right now, Peckham lad Watts is happy to be playing every week for his local side.

He said: "I live nearby and am glad I can help Fisher out. After being with Dulwich Hamlet and Charlton Athletic in my early career I got my first full season under my belt at Fisher in the late-1990s. That year I got 30 goals and Leyton Orient came in for me."

Fisher fans will be hoping he doesn't get spotted again this time round.



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