Willie Clemons making steady strides at Stowmarket Town
Willie Clemons is making steady strides as he fulfils an ambition of playing in England at Stowmarket Town.
The Bermuda international has netted three goals and also has six assists in 15 appearances to date for the non-league side.
Clemons played an integral role in his team’s 4-1 demolition of Tilbury in the Isthmian League North at the weekend, scoring the visitors’ third goal and also earning them a penalty.
“I’m glad to be on the scoresheet and to be contributing with assists, tangible stats are always good,” he told The Royal Gazette.
“I feel that for a long time my stats never quite supported what I felt I brought to teams. But I’m trying to develop that part of my game and really be dangerous to teams.”
George Bugg and Josh Mayhew (two) accounted for Stowmarket’s other tallies, while Sam Jeremiah replied for the home side.
Clemons joined Stowmarket last October, where he plays alongside compatriot and national team team-mate Reggie Lambe, who was influential in securing a deal for him at the club.
The transition has been a smooth one for the 27-year-old despite the adjustments he has been forced to make.
“I've moved more out wide as a winger rather than centre midfield where I normally play,” Clemons explained. “Players with my skill set tend to get more of the ball in wide areas in these leagues, and that’s where I’ve been most effective since arriving.
“The schedule congestion takes some time to get used to; regulating yourself to play midweek and on weekends, as well as doing part time work with my free time as I’m not a full-time footballer any more.”
Clemons is encouraged by the progress he has made but is far from being content as his desire remains to play at a higher level.
“Obviously that’s the goal but for now this is the path I’m on to get back there,” he said. “Work to be done is here, and we're getting along quite well at the moment.”
Meanwhile, the past several weeks have been emotionally trying for both Clemons and Lambe as they mourn the death of Bermuda team-mate Osagi Bascome.
“Osagi's passing hit home for both of us as I'm sure it has for anyone that knew him,” Clemons added.
“I reached out to a number of our team-mates when I heard [of Bascome’s death] and there's been a genuine collective spirit among the national team throughout as we always are. We each offered our condolences to one another and shared stories and laughs, videos etc just remembering the vibe Sagi always had.”
Clemons says the outpouring of love for Bascome was testament to his personality.
“I tuned into the memorial [Sunday] and the tributes said everything that had to be said,” he added. “He was a light, had an infectious smile and it was impossible to ever be angry in his presence. He had one of the purest vibes you could come across.
“It was a pleasure to share the memories on and off the pitch I have with him. We helped make history side-by-side for Bermuda [Concacaf Gold Cup qualification] and that’s something I'll never forget.
“To his family, friends and the entire community, I send my deepest condolences and my love.”