On Tuesday 4th of April we visit Brackley Town’s St. James’ Park in what is a huge game at the top of the National League North.
The game is an especially vital game in Brackley Town’s season with the Saints getting cast adrift from the playoff places following a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Boston United. Whilst the game marks the final game in a run of three consecutive away trips for the Shaymen following successful outings at FC United of Manchester and Kidderminster Harriers.
It has been a superb season for Brackley with the Saints reaching the second round of the FA Cup and the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy and this has largely been built on the defence of the Northamptonshire Town and in no small part to Laurie Walker, goalkeeper for red and black striped outfit – here we put the spotlight on Walker.
Aged 27 years-old, Laurie Walker began his career at Milton Keynes Dons, before moving to Millwall – however, it wouldn’t be until the 2009-10 season that the 6’5” stopper would make his professional debut at Cambridge.
After failing to establish himself in the U’s side, Walker continued his development by moving to Morecambe – again he would play just the once, this time in a losing effort in the Football League Trophy against Macclesfield Town.
Walker would then drop out of the football league once more joining Kettering Town the start of the 2011-12. The season was a perilous one in the history of Kettering as the side faced numerous off the field problems as they finished bottom of the National League North.
The season did mark the first-time Walker established himself as a regular in a side. Walker made 40 appearances throughout the season, however he, like many other, would leave the midlands side at the end of the season.
From there Walker would have a spell at Brackley during a season which, as I’m sure many reading this remember, ended with Brackley losing to the Shaymen 1-0 in the playoff final. Again, Walker would fail to establish himself in the side as he left to join Southern Premier Division side, Hemel Hempstead.
Walker would be an immediate success at Hemel Hempstead making over 100 appearances for the Tudors – in his first season, Walker would be a mainstay in a side which gained promotion to the National League South. His second season would see Hempstead finish in a respectable ninth place. Walker would then leave to join Oxford City having made 105 appearances, making 36 clean sheets.
It would prove to be an unspectacular move for Walker as the side came 12th, six places behind Hempstead – though Walker would make 30 appearances for the side.
Now Walker is enjoying a great spell at Brackley and having made his debut in the fourth game of the season against Alfreton has been an ever-present in the side, keeping nine clean sheets in the process. Fingers crossed Walker won’t reach double figures on Tuesday night!
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