Focus stiff gear shift

I have a 2001 Diesel Focus with a manual box. I bought the 'station wagon' when it had been driven 32K km's. At that time the gear box action was never 'smooth'; rapid shifts just didn't happen! Engaging
first was a struggle and sometimes changing up / down requires some effort.
The wagon now has 45K km's and the gear shift had become much stiffer. Entering first or reverse requires a 'sharp' pull. Changing up or down feels stiff and there's "resistance" - feels a little like an old truck I once used.
The clutch 'seems' OK, engages and disengages smoothly, doesn't grab or stick.
I wonder, has anyone else experienced this on a Ford Focus Diesel? Is it to be 'expected', or is it typical of this model, or...... ???
Any comments help appreciated. John Hewitt, Malaga, Spain
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