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From Oval to Round - 28 September

uhlsport hellenic league lee martinLee Martin is well known in the Gloucester area for his rugby exploits, helping Spartans reach Twickenham for the final of the Junior Vase in 2017.

Jon Palmer writes in the Gloucestershire Echo he has switched sports in recent weeks, donning the goalkeeping gloves to help out Ujlsport Hellenic League Premier Division club Longlevens, who have been without regular number one Ash Wintle. Martin's brother Craig is on the books at Saw Mills, where he is number two to boss Mark Moore, while the youngest of five siblings, striker Brad, recently left Longlevens to join Bishop's Cleeve. Eldest brother Mike also played football for Longlevens and rugby for Coney Hill.

Here 31-year-old father of three Lee (pictured) discusses his switch from oval to round ball...

How have you found the last two games in goal for Longlevens?
Really enjoyed the first game getting an FA Vase win over Tuffley Rovers. It’s always nice to beat your local rival and nice to keep a clean sheet after not playing football for five years. The second game wasn’t so enjoyable, losing on penalty to Thornbury Town (in the GFA Trophy).

There is obviously a strong link between your family and the club, have you played for them before?
Yes there is a strong link in the family with the club. I used to play for the club a few years ago started off as a left-back for fourth team. Then changed position because the club were always short of goalkeeper. I used to play in goal for Gloucester City Schools, so always knew my best position was goalkeeper.

Can you talk me through your rugby career and are you still playing?
I’ve played for most local rugby clubs around Gloucester, but my homegrown club is Spartans RFC. My dad was a big part of the junior section back in the day and brought us all up playing kids rugby for Spartans. Think the only one of us who didn’t play youth rugby for Spartans was Bradley. I retired from rugby at the end of the 2017 season, but I am still receiving text messages most week asking if I fancy a game!

What position do you play and does rugby help with goalkeeping and vice versa?
I played second row or back row and it definitely helps my goalkeeping with handling and keeping your eye on the ball. From lineout to kick-off, I would claim most kick-offs if it was within five metres of me.

What has been the highlight of your rugby career?
Playing at Twickenham in the 2017 Junior Vase final with Spartans. Unfortunately we didn’t come away with the win but was a great achievement to get there and something I will always look back on.

How much do you enjoy playing alongside older brother Craig?
I’ve not played with Craig this time round he’s getting to old now and any little knock or twitches and it takes him three or four weeks to recover!

Do you both give youngest brother Brad any stick for leaving to join Cleeve?
Craig gives him more stick than me. I was happy that he was trying to better himself, but it’s looking like there is going to be no ‘bounce back’ this year. Plus the goals have started to dry up already. It’s going to be a long season for him, but I hope he proves us both wrong.

What job do you do outside sport, job wise?
I’m a self-employed delivery driver for DPD Gloucester.

 

james campbell hellenic league footballFormer Javelin International Hits Target On Debut - 10 August

Evesham United striker James Campbell has signed for Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division club Longlevens.

Jon Palmer writes in the Gloucestershire Echo. The former international javelin thrower scored on his debut for his new club, a 3-2 home defeat by Lydney Town on Wednesday night.

"It's a long season and I need to get and stay match fit," Campbell said. "I went to watch Longlevens a couple of times to see how James Barnett was getting on. It ended up being clear that I wouldn’t get much game time with Evesham at the moment so dual registration was a sensible option again. Longlevens' manager (Mark Moore) is a good guy and they will be competitive in most games this season.”

 

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