WEYMOUTH’S Stewart Yetton voiced just how important Chris Shephard is to the Terras’ set-up now he is back to full fitness and offered a tongue-in-cheek plan to keep his team-mate injury-free in the future.
Former Exeter City man Shephard saw his pre-season wiped out by a freak accident involving a rope swing which caused damage to his knee and ankle, while on honeymoon in Bali during the summer.
He has netted three goals in his last two games in all competitions, including a strike to help Weymouth to the next stage of the FA Trophy at Bedford last time out.
Yetton, who bagged a double at the weekend, is eager to ensure Shephard is available for the Terras’ promotion push and has come up with a shrewd idea to ensure he stays fit.
He said: “We have banned him from any tree swings and from going near the woods!
“If he keeps this form it will give us an extra five or 10 per cent.
“It was always going to be tough for him when he missed pre-season. He has probably been back fully fit for around six weeks now and that’s probably the same sort of time you would have in pre-season.
“We have got through a difficult period now where we have had quite a few injuries.”
Player-manager Jason Matthews is still struggling with a heel problem and was touch-and-go for yesterday’s clash at Bideford before it was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Yetton, who went in goal to replace Matthews during the final stages against Merthyr Town, insists he is more than happy to take the gloves once more in an emergency.
“I actually did it in one game for Truro when we won the league,” he added.
“I always have a bit of banter with the keepers and the goalkeeping coach and tell them I’m the best keeper at the club anyway.
“I’ve been in goal probably a total of 100 minutes and across four games I have never conceded. It’s a pretty good record.
“Unfortunately I didn’t have any saves to make (at Merthyr), not that it would have mattered because they wouldn’t have beaten me!”