Promising Stocksbridge Park Steels footballer back fit after two-stone lockdown weight gain
Exciting Stocksbridge Park Steels prospect Lewis Witham has admitted he took his eye off the ball after he piled on the pounds in lockdown.
The 19-year-old winger, who has been scouted by National League clubs, gained two stone during the first lockdown, which left him feeling “sluggish”.
But, after recovering from an ankle ligament injury sustained in October, he returned to running in late February and changed his diet – and is feeling much better for it.
Lewis, who lives in Thurgoland, said: “At the start of the first lockdown it was hard for everyone just having the motivation to carry on and get the best out of yourself.
"I’ve just been driving myself into the ground trying to get fit. The main thing is to eat well, keep yourself active and a keep a good routine.
Stocksbridge’s hierarchy have high hopes for Lewis, who combines part-time football with work at a warehouse.
Vice chairman Roger Gissing said: “He's a very good player, he’s been with the club since he was 12. He’s a big, strong lad.
"There’s been a lot of interest from non-league clubs further up the pyramid. He’s still a young lad and he’s still got plenty of time.”
He added: "He’s got the opportunity, if he gets his mind right, to go places. We hold him in high esteem.”
Lewis previously played for Sheffield United at junior level and, despite being out of shape, scored seven times in just eight appearances last season before his injury.
He said: “It’s been a quick progression and it’s been good. Stocksbridge has always been the club where I have been the most at home because it’s local and I have a connection with the club.
"It’s nice there’s clubs looking but then again I want to be playing football. I wouldn’t want to rush into going anywhere else because I’m happy where I am and I know the lads believe in me and the managers do as well.”
Fellow forward Luke Mangham, 23, is another player Stocksbridge hope could follow the likes of Jamie Vardy and Harrison Biggins into professional football.
Lewis said of his team mate: “He’s still only young, he’s had a couple of injuries but when he’s been on it he’s been unstoppable.”
Stocksbridge Park Steels’s new season starts in August.