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Paul Hurst on Lenell John-Lewis

Gaffer looking forward to working with Ex-Grimsby Striker

26 May 2017

Shrewsbury Town Boss Paul Hurst is looking forward to working with Lenell John-Lewis again after he became Town’s second signing of the summer.

John-Lewis worked under Paul at Grimsby Town where he scored 20 goals in his final season as the Mariners reached the National League Play-Off final.

The 28-year-old forward has spent the last two seasons with Newport County in League Two and Paul is pleased to be working with him again.

“He was excellent for us, but unfortunately we lost him at the time”, Paul told ShrewsWeb.

“League football came calling and having lost in the Play-Off final we couldn’t offer him that, but he was excellent for us.

“He’s a strong boy that gives absolutely everything to the team. He’s a real team player and he’s certainly one of those players that his teammates speak higher of him than anyone else because of what he does for them and he puts the team first.

“He’s had a difficult couple of seasons with injuries and that is something that we are aware of and we are conscious of, but I think that it’s someone that can come in and be a very good player for us.”

Paul worked with John-Lewis for two and a half seasons at Grimsby and he believes that he has the attributes to cause problems in League One.

“He’s not what everyone would call a natural goalscorer - his game is much more than that”, said Paul.

“He does a job for the team and he’s often the player that takes a lot of the attention away for maybe others to exploit, but he did manage 20 goals that year.”

“He does that because he is willing to put his head in where it hurts. He’s a willing runner, he works extremely hard and when you’ve got those attributes and that attitude to it all then often you can end up having chances fall at your feet.”

“He’s not the biggest in terms of height wise, but he’s very strong and powerful. I wouldn’t say he’s got lightening pace but he’s certainly mobile, he holds the ball up well and I think he’s one of those players that centre-halves don’t like playing against.”

John-Lewis played just two games last season because of injury, but Paul is hopeful that he can get him firing again.

“We’ve got to try and take care of that”, admitted Hurst.

“He’s back from a pretty horrific injury in truth, but we’ve had him assessed, we’ve looked at it and we believe we can help improve that situation and monitor him daily.

“I can speak highly enough of Chris Skitt (Physio) and the work that he will do with Lenell to make sure that we are giving him the best chance possible to be fit for all the games.

“If that means at times adapting his training slightly then that is something we will look at, but overall for me the deal is certainly worth doing and obviously there’s lots of considerations that go into something like that.

“No one wants a player that is never available and no one sets out to do that, but we think we can get him back up to speed and I know 100% that he’s got the attitude that will give himself every chance and being fit and in the best shape possible.”

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