LIAM Nash feels he is reaping the rewards of finally falling back in love with football.

The Hullbridge based striker helped to fire Hornchurch to shock FA Trophy final success against Hereford at Wembley.

But Saturday’s heroics came after Nash had contemplated ending his career after a miserable spell with Gillingham.

“Unfortunately my experience in the pro game was the worst of my whole career,” said Nash, who has also played locally for Hullbridge, Concord, Billericay and Great Wakering.

“You probably hear that a lot and I was in my darkest place in football at that point.

“I wanted to quit really but I’ve found the old Nashy and I just love playing football again, thanks to Hornchurch.”

And that is why the striker has already agreed to sign a new deal with the Urchins.

“I’ve signed a new contract and I don’t want to change the way I feel at the minute,” said Nash, 25.

“I think you play your best when you’re at your happiest.

“Hornchurch have given me the opportunity to find myself again and I can only return the favour by staying for another year or two.

“It would be an understatement to say I’ve rediscovered my love for football here.

“I’ve always been told I won’t hit my prime until I’m 26 or 27 so there’s more to come but I need to find a happy place for that to happen and I have with Hornchurch.”

However, Nash started last season playing abroad and was snapped up by Hornchurch after initially being sent a message on Instagram.

“I was playing in Gibraltar and was captain of a side called Boca,” said Nash.

“I left a month before the season started out there and unfortunately, a couple of months after I came back, they ended up going bust.

“But I got a message from Hornchurch chairman Alex Sharp on Instagram and I just think it was written in the stars really.

“It’s certainly been a massive turnaround for me.”

Nash was the leading scorer in this season’s FA Trophy and was again on target in Saturday’s shock 3-1 win against Hereford.

But the striker, who attended Sweyne Park School, feels the success is starting to sink in.

“We’ve got the trophy and it is starting to sink in more now I think,” said Nash.

“Every time I’ve watched back the video it’s brought back the emotions and it’s the same every time my family message me.

“It’s unbelievable really and we’ve done the unthinkable really but that’s the beauty of football.

“The pro game seems to be getting ruined in my opinion now with VAR and a few other things as well.

“Non-league is where it’s at and it’s where everyone really loves their football.

“We all wear our heart on our sleeves and everyone has genuine passion for the game.

“We all work in the week and then the games mean the absolute world to us which I think shows in our performances.”

Nash has certainly shown his passion for the game this season.

But he will soon be coming back down to earth with a bump.

“I’m a hoddie for a brick laying company,” said Nash.

“It’s hard work and I put my back out every now and then doing it”

“I’ve got this week off and go back to reality on Tuesday.

“I’ll be up at 5.30 in the morning and be home at six in the evening.”

But Nash will also be looking to build on Hornchurch’s FA Trophy win and is relishing working for manager Mark Stimson.

“Stimmo has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Nash.

“It’s a funny road really.

“We met four years ago in a play-off final when I was at Maldon and he beat me.

“But fast forward a few years and we’ve won the biggest non-league trophy you can get at Wembley.

“It’s quite some story and I hope there’s more to come.”