Ben is relishing challenge of keeping Felixstowe up

BEN Garnham is relishing the challenge of keeping Felixstowe & Walton United in the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.

The 20-year-old central midfielder swapped the sanctuary of a squad place at top-six side Hadleigh United for a relegation battle with the Seasiders.

Garnham spent two years at the Millfield, helping Hadleigh to win promotion to the Premier Division after a 12-year absence and then establishing the Brettsiders in the top flight last season.

Former team mate Stuart Crawford, who also played for Felixstowe in his career, then took over as manager in the summer and brought in a raft of new signings.

Garnham said: “I loved the club and the people there and was reluctant to leave, but I felt I had to move on if I wanted to develop as a player.

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“I felt I never had a fair crack of the whip – on more than one occasion this season I was dropped to the bench when I didn’t feel I deserved to be.

“It would have been easy for me to stay at Hadleigh in the knowledge that I was part of a strong squad, but if I am to improve I need to be playing every week.

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“Four clubs were interested in signing me, including Stowmarket Town and Whitton United who are both pushing for promotion from Division One, but I chose Felixstowe as I wanted to stay in the Premier Division.

“It would have been easier for me to drop down and play in a team used to winning every week, but it would mean more to me to keep Felixstowe up this season than to win promotion from Division One.

“I am ambitious and want to play at a higher level, and hopefully by playing regularly for Felixstowe I can develop my game.”

Garnham joined Felixstowe at the end of January, making an immediate impact when coming on as a substitute for his debut with the Seasiders trailing Histon Reserves 2-1 before eventually winning 4-2 and following that up with a 2-0 win at Wivenhoe.

He has since cemented his place in the side and scored his first goal for Felixstowe in the 2-1 defeat at home to FC Clacton last week, and along with his team mates was left frustrated by the postponement of Saturday’s home match against Mildenhall due to a waterlogged pitch.

Garnham will be kicking his heels again this Saturday as he will be serving a one-match suspension and misses the visit to Ely City after two yellow cards saw him sent off late on in the 5-1 defeat at home to Norwich United.

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