RECORD goalscorer Sam Higgins said he wants to secure a play-off place with East Thurrock United this season after securing a return to the club.

Higgins left the Rookery Hill club at the end of last season, having helped fire them to safety with a dozen goals after re-joining them in February from Concord Rangers.

He joined Conference South promotion hopefuls Bromley and played in three of their first four matches. However, he was told last weekend that he could leave and Higgins says it came as a surprise.

“It was out of my control,” said Higgins. “They told me they wanted to change things around and I could look for a new club if I wanted. I was disappointed with how it played out, but it is really great to be back at East Thurrock.

“A few Conference South clubs were interested in me, including Farnborough, but the travelling would have been too much for me. A few local sides were interested in me too but I spoke to Covo (John Coventry, East Thurrock manager) who said he wanted another striker and it was a move that worked for me.”

Higgins became the club’s all-time record goalscorer in his spell at the end of last term, overtaking Billy Lowe’s 35-year record. He currently has 121 strikes for Rocks, but is hopeful of adding to that total.

“I have scored quite a few goals with East Thurrock so I hope I can add to that and push them up the league. We have a strong team that all know each other well and there is no reason we can’t push for play-offs if we string some results together.

“I know a lot of the guys here so it will be good to see them again and work our way up the league.”

Coventry said the return of Higgins was “massive” for East Thurrock.

He said: “He came in last season to do me a favour and help us out and that is what he did. So to have him with 40 league matches to go will be brilliant. A player like Sam will always contribute 20 goals or more and we are confident if he does that this year we will do ok.

“I have players here who know Sam and know what he is about and that will be so important as he fits back into the team.”