Current crop is the strongest, says skipper Berry
WOODBRIDGE Town skipper Paul Berry believes the current crop of players is the strongest squad he has played with in his two spells at the club.
Berry, who is closing in on 200 appearances for the Woodpeckers, first joined the Ridgeons League Premier Division club in 2003, after featuring for Felixstowe & Walton United when not at university.
He left Woodbridge in November 2007 just after Mick Stockwell quit the club and joined Needham Market and then Leiston – both clubs loaning him out to Felixstowe – before returning to Woodbridge at the beginning of last season, which saw the Notcutts Park club finish tenth.
Berry, who has completed a half century of goals for Woodbridge, said: “I think this is the best squad I have played in at Woodbridge. In the past we have had some good individual players, like Joe Francis and Allicion Blake.
“But after a good start to the season we have had a disappointing run, but I still think we will do do better than last season.”
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It was while with Needham Berry won the Suffolk Premier Cup – he scored from the spot in the penalty shoot-out against Leiston – and Ridgeons League Cup and finished second in the league, but he was cup-tied and could not play in the FA Vase, which saw the Suffolk side lose to Kirkham & Wesham in a two-legged semi-final.
“It was disappointing, but it was more disappointing for the boys who were playing,” he admitted.
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However, the 30-year-old is optimistic that Woodbridge can win some silverware before he calls time on his career – not that he has any plans to retire just yet.
“I would like to think we can win something at this level, and possibly have good runs in the FA Vase and FA Cup.
“I just want to continue to enjoy my football and hopefully play for as long as possible,” added Berry, whose wife Charlotte gave birth to baby daughter Tess in April.
Berry, who has played under a variety of managers during the past dozen years, is in no doubt that former Ipswich Town midfielder Stockwell has been the best.
“It’s Stockers for me,” said Berry.
He brought me to the club and I liked his style of football, which suited my style. He encouraged me to play the way I wanted to play, and current manager Mark Scopes is trying to carry that on.”