Ex-Sudbury, Leiston and Bury Town winger Danny Cunningham signs a two-year deal at Needham Market to be reunited with manager Mark Morsley

Danny Cunningham (centre) celebrates winning the Ryman League Cup, along with Roscoe Hipperson and S

Danny Cunningham (centre) celebrates winning the Ryman League Cup, along with Roscoe Hipperson and Sam Nunn, at Bury Town in 2011/12 - Credit: Archant

Needham Market have signed experienced left-winger Danny Cunningham on a two-year deal after the 26-year-old turned down the chance to extend his stay at Bury Town.

It means that Cunningham is reunited with manager Mark Morsley, the duo having had a love-hate relationship at both AFC Sudbury and Leiston in the past – Morsley letting the wide man go for ‘disciplinary issues’ on both occasions.

Morsley says that Cunningham – who spent time in jail for drugs offenses back in 2008 – has matured a lot during his recent spells at Lowestoft and Bury though and believes the left-sided winger’s pace, direct-running and physicality could take his side to the next level after their heartbreaking Ryman League Division One North play-off semi-final defeat to Witham Town.

“I bombed him out at two different clubs over disciplinary matters, but there was never any bad feelings – he respected the fact that he’d forced me into it and we always shook hands and moved on,” explains Morsley.

“I think he’s grown a lot since then; both as a player and a person. He’s got a little boy now, he’s settled down and is working full-time. I spoke to Richard Wilkins (Bury boss last season), as well as one or two other people at Bury and they all told me that he was exceptional for them. It’s taken a few years, but you could say he’s finally come of age.

“We’ve always stayed in touch and he’s always remained on my radar. Last season we were exceptional defensively, but we lacked something going forwards. The left side is an area I was keen to strengthen and Danny ticked all the boxes.” He continued: “For all our history, Danny will tell you that his most enjoyable times as a footballer were probably with me at Sudbury and Leiston. He knows a lot of my coaching staff and players so this just seemed like a really good fit.

“I know it seems like he’s been a round for a long time, but he’s still only 26. I’m delighted to get him because I think he’ll really improve us offensively. He can play wide left, just tucked inside or in behind the strikers.”

Cunningham joins the likes of former professional Kem Izzet, Ian Westlake and Chris Hogg at Bloomfields, with several other key players from last season – including Sam Newson – all signed up for another campaign.

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“Last summer I signed 15 players and it took a while to bed them all in,” said Morsley. “This time it’s a case of adding to a settled squad. I only want one or two more really because I’ve got some really exciting youngsters coming through our academy to call upon.”

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