Little Common hot shot Lewis Hole is within sight of 300 goals for the football club at the end of his most prolific season to date.
The 32-year-old netted 38 times in all competitions during the 2016/17 campaign to take his tally for the Macron Store Southern Combination League Division One side to a remarkable 278.
“I’m quite pleased with that and I think the 300 would be lovely to get,” said Hole. “That’s quite a nice target.”
Hole scored a hat-trick in Common’s final game victory away to Midhurst & Easebourne - his fourth treble of the campaign - to eclipse his previous best haul in a season of 36 in 2009/10.
He finished second in the division’s scoring charts with 34 league goals and was the supporters’ player of the season as runners-up Common achieved their best ever league finish and scored a century of league goals.
“I’m really pleased with this season,” he continued. “As a team we’ve been really strong. I think it’s noticeable where we go to places and usually come away with a draw or maybe lose, we’ve just ground out wins. We’ve always had a good group of players, and the additions we’ve made like Wes Tate, Dan Cruikshank and Harry Saville have made a difference.
“I think the team’s been really good spirit-wise as well. There’s a good blend of people - there’s experienced players, people in their mid-20s and the youngsters as well.”
Hole has now scored 30 or more goals in a season four times and has reached double figures in all of the last 12 campaigns, including 2011/12, when he netted 10 times for Sidley United.
Although Common will be playing their home games at Eastbourne United AFC next term to avoid the possibility of being relegated for ground grading reasons, Hole believes the players are keen to stay and perform just as strongly in 2017/18.
He added: “I think that’s the vibe I get from everyone - have another good season and hopefully get promoted. It would be nice to see Little Common at the top level of county football and I think it’s the level it deserves.”
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge was full of praise for Hole, who has scored more than 150 goals since Eldridge took up the role in autumn 2011, at which time Hole wasn’t at the club.
“It’s quite an amazing feat really,” said Eldridge, who’s had a hand - or more specifically a left foot - in a number of Hole’s goals. “I think he was a little bit surprised it was that many when we worked it all out.
“When I took over, Lewis was the first person that I tried to bring back. At any level, goalscorers are the hardest to come by. There’s a knack and a skill to scoring goals, and he’s certainly got it.
“If you get him the ball in the right areas, you know he’s going to score goals. I compare him to someone like (Ruud) van Nistelrooy; he gets his goals in the box. He scores with his head and he scores with his feet - and he’s got the respect of everyone he’s played with.
“His attitude is first class and he’s a pleasure to work with. He never misses training, rarely misses a match and loves his football. If you ask most people in the county, they would much rather have him on their team than play against him.
“He’s fairly quiet as a person, but I guess he lets his football do the talking. He’s done it on a consistent basis for 12 seasons I think it is now. I can’t really speak highly enough of him.”
Lewis Hole’s Little Common goal record at-a-glance
2005/06 - 14 goals
2006/07 - 16 goals
2007/08 - 16 goals
2008/09 - 31 goals
2009/10 - 36 goals
2010/11 - 16 goals
2012/13 - 26 goals
2013/14 - 34 goals
2014/15 - 24 goals
2015/16 - 27 goals
2016/17 - 38 goals
Total = 278
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