Former Ipswich Town academy player Josh Lucraft looking forward to bright future after joining Haverhill Rovers from Diss Town
Eye-based Josh Lucraft knows only too well the setbacks and rejection that football can provide, but he hopes that a recent move to Haverhill Rovers will mark the start of an upward trajectory.
The midfielder was part of the Ipswich Town academy from the ages of 6 to 16, after which there were numerous unsuccessful trials with the likes of Colchester United, Cambridge United, Bournemouth and Southampton.
The Southampton knock back was particularly disappointing, given that Lucraft relocated to the south coast for three months and featured in seven youth-team games.
Nevertheless, the 18-year-old dusted himself down, helping Scole United to win promotion to the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Premier Division and then moving with manager Jon Abbott to join Diss Town in January of this year.
Lucraft made 34 appearances for the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North Tangerines, before taking the decision to link up with Premier Division outfit Haverhill Rovers last week.
And he is confident that it was the right time for him to make such a switch.
“Being released after so long at Ipswich was quite hard to take,” said the former Hartismere School pupil.
“There was also a lot of knock backs on trial, but you have got to stay positive and keep going.
“A lot of the players that were in my year-group at Ipswich have stopped playing but I was never going to do that.
“I enjoyed it at Scole and it was good to move to Diss when Jon went there.
“It was a good stepping stone and it has helped to improve me, especially physically.
“I have known James (Bloomfield, Haverhill manager) for a long time and it felt the right time to move up.
“He told me there was a place for me in the team and that was a big positive.
“I went over to have a look at what they were all about and I was really impressed.
“They like to get the ball down and play, which suits me and my style, so it was no-brainer really.”
Lucraft’s Rovers debut on Saturday was somewhat of baptism of fire against runaway leaders Stowmarket Town – a side full of players who were turning out for Step 3 clubs last term.
Haverhill lost 3-0 at Greens Meadow, but Lucraft still saw plenty of reason for positivity.
“I did not expect to start because I had only just joined but I ended up playing 90 minutes,” he added.
“Hopefully I made an impression and the team played well. It was always going to be tough against a team like Stowmarket but we made it uncomfortable for them at times.”
More by this authorLiam Apicella