Curtain falls on Podd’s YM career

IT was the end of an era on Saturday as the curtain came down on Simon Podd’s playing career at Ipswich YM.

IT was the end of an era on Saturday as the curtain came down on Simon Podd’s playing career at Ipswich YM.

Unfortunately, the team couldn’t send him on his way with a win as YM went down to Eastern Counties Two champions Harwich & Dovercourt 9-3 but the day will certainly live long in the memory for Podd, who has decided to hang up his boots after 25 years with the club.

“It was a great day and a bit of an emotional occasion if I’m honest,” he said. “Both teams clapped me on to the field which was a really nice touch.

“I knew the lads were planning something as they kept me back in the dressing room as we were about to go out.”

The 40-year-old insists that he has not got any regrets about retiring despite the knowledge that he could play on for a few more years.

“I know I could go on,” added Podd, who was the club’s top try scorer this season. “But I’m just getting more injuries and it’s nice to be able to go out when I feel I’m at the peak of my game.”

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YM were quietly confident of pulling off an upset against Harwich after going through the season unbeaten at home but it wasn’t to be as the visitors showed just why they have been promoted this season.

“I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t sign off with a win but it wasn’t to be. While it may seem a bit strange to say this but that’s far less frustrating for me than if we had played badly and lost.”

Podd plans to still be heavily associated with the club in a non-playing capacity as he hopes to help head coach Nigel Seaman with training. He also revealed plans to set up a youth side at Rushmere one day, something which is sadly lacking from the club.

“I will still spend a bit of time at the club when I can. I would like to help Nigel now and again on the coaching side and even bring a youth team together there but I will have to wait and see how everything settles down.”

While last weekend was the last time Podd represented YM in a competitive match, he will don the jersey one more time on Saturday in a testimonial match arranged in his honour before the club’s end of season presentation evening.

“A few of the old boys have said they will have a run-out. No doubt some of them will last less than five minutes but it should be a great day.”

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