Billy Holland may play a more advanced role at Needham Market

Billy Holland

Billy Holland - Credit: Mecha Morton

Needham Market midfielder Billy Holland could well be deployed in a more advanced role next season, under new manager, Richard Wilkins.

The 24-year-old former Ipswich Wanderers man was signed by former Marketmen boss Mark Morsley for his attacking qualities, but made a position just in front of the back four his own last season, as the Bostik Premier Division just failed to make the end-of-season play-offs.

Wilkins has taken over from Morsley, who has moved into a boardroom role at Bloomfields, and Holland explained how Wilkins could set up next term.

On being switched to a defensive-midfield role, Holland said: “I found it interesting but I did not see it coming.

“One of the reasons Needham picked me up was for my goals and ability to create chances.

“I am not the most athletic player though, my strengths are my vision and passing, but I know Richard (Wilkins) sees me pushing into a more advanced role and has made no secret that he does not like to have a midfielder in front of the back-four. He sees me pushing on more.”

Holland is hoping to go one further with Needham in the new season, having challenged for the top five last season, and added: “The play-offs have got to be the target again.

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“Having got so close, as far as I am concerned, that is what we have got to be aiming for and I know the manager has brought in a couple of new faces that will hopefully boost the squad.”

Meanwhile, Holland is hoping to put the coaching skills he has to good use when he takes part in a special football tournament organised for foster children, later this month.

Holland works for a company that delivers social work for different local authorities around the country and has been invited to impart his ability and knowledge on to players aged between 18-25, who were brought up in foster care, at an inter-local authority football tournament in Blackburn, after his football background was discovered.

“I am proud to be considered as some sort of ambassador,” Holland added.

“I did some football coaching when I studied PE at university in Leeds and I’ve coached a team in Ipswich called St John’s for a couple of years.”

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