AFC Rushden & Diamonds top scorer Tommy Berwick has revealed he almost walked away from football during pre-season.
The frontman grabbed his 10th goal of the season in all competitions on Tuesday night as Diamonds bounced back from their 4-1 home defeat to Royston Town last weekend with a 2-1 success at Hanwell Town.
With Chalfont St Peter losing 3-1 to Uxbridge, the midweek success sent Diamonds to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central on goal difference.
Berwick has been one of the key men in Andy Peaks’ side this season.
But, in a revealing interview, the former Corby Town man admitted he came close to getting away from the game during the build-up to the new season.
And he believes the way Peaks dealt with the situation has resulted in the good things that have followed.
“We played a pre-season game at Enfield and I was really struggling at the time for various reasons,” Berwick said.
“I spoke to the manager and, to be honest, I was ready to have a break from it all.
“But the gaffer was brilliant, I had three weeks off and worked through it. The way the manager handled that made the difference to me.
“I know what I am capable of and I feel like it’s coming together a little bit now. I am feeling more confident now than I have for a long time.
“The goals and performances are there and hopefully I can keep moving forward and have a good second half of the season.”
Diamonds head to Uxbridge on Saturday as they bid to strengthen their position at the summit.
But Berwick insists there will be no let up from the squad after they hit back in midweek.
Delroy Gordon grabbed the winner for Diamonds, although they had a let of when Hanwell missed a stoppage-time penalty.
“Obviously we were really disappointed with the way the game finished at the weekend having played pretty well in the first half,” he added.
“It just made it more important to go and get the win on Tuesday night.
“It’s nice to be at the top but we have a tricky run of matches coming up.
“Uxbridge beat Chalfont on Tuesday so that’s not going to be easy on Saturday and then we go to Chalfont next weekend.
“Nobody is getting ahead of themselves.
“We have done well up to this point but we have to keep it going.”