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‘The time was right for me to go’ - boss Hillyard on leaving SIL champs Achilles

Luke Hillyard, left, has departed SIL champions Achilles. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Luke Hillyard, left, has departed SIL champions Achilles. Picture: NIGE BROWN

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Outgoing Achilles boss Luke Hillyard admits he felt his time was up with the Ipswich-based club.

Hillyard, who guided Achilles to the Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior division title last season, left the club last week after three seasons in charge.

“I felt the time was right for me to go,” he said.

“I loved my time at the club, it is a great place. But I just thought I had taken them as far as I could.

“Winning the title last season was the pinacle and we’d won everything we could. I think I’ve left the club in a better place than when I arrived.”

Andy Coote and Trevor Childs, who were with Hillyard at Achilles, are the new management team.

“I feel I need to step up in the game,” Hillyard, who was offered the Ipswich Wanderers job 18 months ago, but didn’t take it, admitted.

“I’ve got lots of good contacts in the sport and I know I’m capable. I need to take that next step.”

This weekend Achilles travel to Bramford United looking to put pressure on the top two, Crane Sports and Capel Plough.

It looks likely to be a tight affair this season in the division, with no side still unbeaten.

Leaders Crane Sports make the trip to Leiston St Margarets, having been held to a draw by Haughley last weekend, while second-placed Capel Plough have an interesting clash at Claydon.

Claydon have done well since their promotion to the senior division last season and last week won at Bramford.

Both Benhall St Mary (0-2 defeat to Trimley) and Henley (0-0) at East Bergholt, will feel they dropped points last week, although, like Claydon, Trimley are showing good form after their promotion last season.

Benhall St Mary will hope to continue Grundisburgh’s miserable start to the campaign, basement-based Micky Squirrell’s side still without a point after seven matches.

Trimley travel to Felixstowe Harpers in a seaside local derby.

Westerfield entertain Haughley, while Wenhaston, who were well beaten at Achilles last weekend, 1-5, are at home to Henley Athletic.

Captain Luke Chambers wants his Ipswich Town future sorted sooner rather than later but knows the club’s precarious position means he may have to be patient.

Paul Lambert believes striker Ellis Harrison has something to offer his side as the Welshman works towards full fitness.

Callum Connolly expects to take on an Ipswich Town side ‘playing with freedom’ when he makes his return to Portman Road tomorrow afternoon.

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson wants to sign Ipswich Town loanee Jordan Graham as soon as the January transfer window opens.

Ipswich Town take on a Wigan Athletic side including a number of familiar faces tomorrow. ANDY WARREN takes a look.

Ipswich Town’s East Anglian Derby visit to Norwich City will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Today we start a special countdown to Christmas, Ipswich Town style, with the 12 Greats of Christmas - a rundown of the 12 greatest Town players who’ve ever laced on boots, culminating on the big day itself with the Blues’ best-ever.

Ipswich Town have taken up their option to extend Freddie Sears’ contract until the summer of 2020.

Jon Nolan is back in the team under Paul Lambert. STUART WATSON spoke to the midfielder about Paul Hurst’s sacking, stepping up to the Championship and the visit of Wigan.

Paul Lambert will continue to ‘protect’ talented midfielder Teddy Bishop as the youngster strives for fitness following a long injury lay-off.

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