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Lavelle hopes to be fit for Crewe opener

Sam Lavelle.
Sam Lavelle.

Morecambe defender Sam Lavelle faces a race to be fit for the curtain raiser at Crewe.

This weekend will mark a year since the 21-year-old came off the bench to make his League Two bow in the opening day 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town.

The defender had joined from Bolton Wanderers that summer but had never played a senior league game prior to that August debut.

Now he starts the season as one of Jim Bentley’s first choice centre-halves after featuring in 31 games and helping the Shrimps retain their League Two status.

While he might be one of the first names Bentley wants to write down, the defender still has to shake off an ankle knock after being rested for the 3-1 defeat to League One side Fleetwood in their final pre-season friendly.

Lavelle said: I’ve done my ankle, it is not too bad but my main target is getting fit for Saturday, the first game of the season, so I didn’t want to make it worse last weekend and go back to square one.

“I thought I’d have a few more days rest to be right for next week.”

And Lavelle is hoping for a battle at the right end of the table this term after they just escaped the drop last year.

He said: “We are hoping to challenge at the other end of the table.

“We are underdogs in the league, we have a low budget everyone knows that but the gaffer does a good job with the budget and I think we are good enough to be top half.

“We were a bit unlucky to finish were we did last season but we stayed up and hopefully we can push up towards the play-offs that is our ambition.

“Accrington are a similar sized club to us and we all know what they did last season so the football they played and the way they went about it shows it can be done.”

And Lavelle is hoping for a battle at the right end of the table this term after they just escaped the drop last year.

He was part of the team who claimed the final day goalless draw at Coventry City which kept them up on goal difference and relegated Barnet.

With new owners at the Globe Arena and an overhauled squad for the 2018/19 campaign, there is a feeling of positivity around the club.

The hope is that off-field boost can be reflected on the pitch with last season’s League Two winners providing an example of what can be achieved.

Lavelle said: “We are hoping to challenge at the other end of the table.

“We are underdogs in the league, we have a low budget – everyone knows that – but the gaffer does a good job with the budget and I think we are good enough to be top half.

“We were a bit unlucky to finish were we did last season but we stayed up and hopefully we can push up towards the play-offs that is our ambition.

“Accrington are a similar-sized club to us and we all know what they did last season so the football they played and the way they went about it shows it can be done.”