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Leiston manager delighted to bring former Ipswich Town man Byron Lawrence back from Billericay Town

PUBLISHED: 11:52 07 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 07 August 2017

Byron Lawrence (left) challenges Leiston's Conor Hubble during Billericay's 2-0 win last season.

Byron Lawrence (left) challenges Leiston's Conor Hubble during Billericay's 2-0 win last season.

Archant

Leiston boss Glenn Driver says his friendship with Byron Lawrence helped convince the Billericay Town midfielder to return to Victory Road on a season-long loan.

The 21-year-old ex-Ipswich Town midfielder left Leiston for the Essex club in March and starred as his new side defeated the Blues 2-0, just a few weeks later.

Lawrence left Leiston after a string of fine displays persuaded big-spending Billericay boss Glenn Tamplin, who added former Premier League stars Paul Konchesky and Jamie O’Hara to his squad last season, to swoop for the youngster.

However, less than six months on, Lawrence, who went on trial at Dagenham & Redbridge last season, is back in Suffolk – Billericay having drafted in several new signings over the summer, including former Liverpool and Stoke winger, Jermaine Pennant, who will reportedly earn £3,000 a week at the Blues’ Bostik Premier rivals.

“I kept in touch with Byron over the summer, we became good friends off the pitch,” said Driver, whose side begin their league campaign at home to Dorking, on Saturday.

“He was flying this pre-season but Billericay brought in one or two more high-profile players, which have pushed him down the pecking order.

“We made an enquiry and there were one or two other teams interested but he said if he was going to go out on loan, then we were the only club he’d sign for.”

Lawrence hit 10 goals in 44 appearances for Leiston last season, the Blues making a flying start to the campaign before faltering a little after Christmas.

“Byron is a player we know very well and puts pressure on the opposition in and around the right areas,” Driver added.

“He played in the friendly loss to Norwich United on Saturday and I thought he was our best player.

“It’s a chance for him to come here, with another year on his contract at Billericay, and put himself in the shop window.

“He is one of a number of exciting players we have signed this summer and we have lots of options in midfield.

“Billericay will be keeping a close eye on him and if he can perform the way he did in his first spell for us, then everyone will be happy.”

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