Boardley ‘excited’ about Leiston future as Blues head to high-flying Stourbridge

Leiston's Harry Knights, one of a crop of teenagers in the Leiston first-team squad. Picture: JOHN H

Leiston's Harry Knights, one of a crop of teenagers in the Leiston first-team squad. Picture: JOHN HEALD - Credit: Archant

Leiston boss Stuart Boardley has said he feels like he has ‘come home’ in his role as Leiston boss.

The former Blues midfielder, who spent 10 years as a player at Victory Road, has eased his way into the top job at the Southern League club and is confident the foundations are in place for a crop of fine young players to come through.

Leiston head to high-flying Stourbridge this Saturday, and then go to play-off-chasing Biggleswade on Tuesday night.

“I’m loving it being back, to be honest,” he said.

“It sort of feels like I’ve come home to a place I know well.

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“It’s been a challenge and there were some issues with the dressing room to start with. But that’s all been sorted and we are really moving forward with a squad we want.

“We have a great crop of young players in the squad now which I find exciting. The foundations were put down by Glenn Driver (former boss), and we are seeing the fruits of some of that now. These boys can play.

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“My aim is to have a crop of 18/19/20-year-olds who can compete at this level over the next few years. I can tell they will be able to.”

Leiston sit mid-table in the Southern League Central Premier Division with both the play-offs and the relegation zone 12 points away.

Boardley, and assistant David Head, see it as an opportunity for his side to relax and enjoy their football.

“I told the players last week they are under no pressure, just go and play,” he said.

“I think that is often where Leiston are at their best, when they are the underdogs. They beat Kettering away this season and we were very good at Rushden the other week in getting a draw.

“We beat fifth-placed Alvechurch last weekend.

“So, I’m looking forward to Stourbridge – I think we will get a result.”

Like many clubs, Leiston have turned to producing their own players – it’s a trait many further up the pyramid are following.

Boardley understands why.

“Financially it’s getting harder for many non-league clubs and more clubs are looking to develop their own young players, rather than have to spend money on what you would say is ‘the finished article’,” he said.

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