Levanger have been very active in the transfer market of late and yesterday announced the signing of Lloyd Saxton, an English goalkeeper signed on loan from Allsvenskan side GIF Sundsvall.
(Image courtesy of Levanger Official)
I spoke to the player about what he hopes to achieve at Levanger, as well a how he managed to end up in Scandinavia having played in the English lower leagues for most of his career.
Lloyd, welcome to the OBOS Ligaen! What was it about Levanger that attracted you to the side?
– My main reason was to come and play games. Unfortunately I have not had the minutes I would have liked in 2016. I had other options in the Swedish Superettan but i was very impressed by Magnus Powell as a coach. I think he is a coach that gets the best from his players. It’s a club on the rise and hopefully I can be a part of that.
So what do you believe you can bring to Levanger, can you be the steady presence in goal that the side needs?
– I bring my own certain style of play to the side and hopefully i can save the team some points.
You have previously played in some very prestigious English academies such as Liverpool and Bolton, how have these experiences shaped you as a player?
– I was at premier league clubs until I was 16 before moving to the championship. I think I learnt about the techniques you need as goalkeeper and of course the ability to work hard.
Who are some of your footballing idols and have there been players who have really impressed you at your previous clubs?
– I grew up in the stands at Anfield so watched a lot of goalkeepers like David James of Liverpool and David Seaman at Arsenal. The British goalkeepers were always an example to follow. I was part of an excellent youth team at Plymouth, it was one of the best in the country during my time there. So I played with some players who have gone on to do very well. Dan Gosling (Now Bournemouth), Ashley Barnes (Burnley), Joe Mason (Wolves), Yannick Bolasie (Everton) and Ben Tozer (Newport) all who have since gone onto play for Premier League clubs at some point. So I would say working close with such talented players when I was young was great for me. <
So how did the move to Sweden happen? Going from England to the Swedish 5th tier is not something many players do!
– I was at a crossroads in my career. I had a few moves fall through after my stint at Bradford City in England. I had the choice to either play non league and play part-time or move to Sweden and play full time. I knew my career had not finished yet and I had a lot more to give. So I chose a full time contract and moved away from home. I wanted to concentrate 100% on football.
Saxton in training for Levanger, with teammate Ola Rygge.
Was there ever a point when you considered giving up playing football?
– Never. Like I said I had a lot more to give so it never crossed my mind. I always believed I would play at high level. And now I’ve achieved the move from a low level to the top. Hopefully I can be used as an example in England for players between 18 and 21, don’t be afraid to move abroad! <
Do you one day hope to play in England again?
– It’s not something I am craving for. But if it happens I’m open to it.
The management at GIF Sundsvall have been very complimentary of you since this move to Levanger. Do you plan to challenge for their Number 1 jersey next season?
– Next season? I think i can do it this season. If Tommy (Naurin, current first choice goalkeeper for Sundsvall) is injured or not performing I believe I will be recalled to play. But this move to Levanger is exactly a part of the plan. Play well in the OBOS Ligaen in 2017 and maybe become first keeper at Sundsvall 2018.
Finally, what are your best traits as a goalkeeper?
– I would say I’m a good communicator on the pitch. Good shot stopper and can come for the high balls.
It is sure to be an interesting season for both Saxton and Levanger. The battle for the Number 1 jersey in this Levanger side will be tight with Ola Rygge desperate to impress in 2017. With a number of new arrivals in the side, Levanger will surely be looking to go one step further than last year and make the OBOS Ligaen promotion play offs.