Former Ipswich Town apprentice Tom Winter enjoying the challenge of Ryman Premier football with Leiston

Leiston's Tom Winter has scored four goals in his last three games for the Blues

Leiston's Tom Winter has scored four goals in his last three games for the Blues - Credit: Su Anderson

Former Ipswich Town apprentice and local lad Tom Winter is enjoying the challenge of Ryman Premier football as Leiston host Wingate & Finchley this afternoon.

The flamboyant winger, who can play in a number of forward positions, made a permanent switch to his hometown club in the summer after being released by Ipswich.

A popular signing, who has endured successful loan spells previously at Victory Road, Winter is thoroughly enjoying the demands of the Ryman League, full-time.

“This League is totally different to my time at Ipswich,” said Winter, who has scored four goals in his last three games for Leiston.

“It’s very competitive, more physical, and there is of course competitive points up for grabs in every game.

“It’s difficult, but I feel I am slowly adapting to the level of football.

“I would love to return to the pro game like every non-league footballer would, but I’m only concentrating on playing for Leiston, and being part of us doing well.”

Most Read

The 19-year-old continued: “For a town the size of Leiston, we are doing really well at this level.

“It’s a good club, we have a great squad, and hopefully we can take our current form up to and past the Christmas period, before then seeing what happens.”

Leiston currently sit in a lofty fourth position in the table, and today host sixth-placed Wingate, looking to maintain their position, while improving their home form.

The Blues have collected just eight points from their last six league games on their own patch, something Winter accepts must improve if they are to maintain their impressive league position.

“If we can turn our dropped home points into three point hauls, then I believe we can give the play-offs a really good go,” confirmed Winter.

Today’s opponents Wingate will be a tough test for the Blues, especially considering that the visitors will be looking to gain some revenge after being on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller against Leiston on the opening day of the season.

Boss Richard Wilkins will be without the suspended duo of Scott Mitchell and Blake Saker today, while Joe Francis is likely to miss out through injury, and will join long-term absentees Tom Bullard and Josh Mayhew on the sidelines.

Colchester loanee Conor Hubble completes his final game as his one-month loan expires on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Suffolk today, Lowestoft Town, who have just made big summer signing Jefferson Louis available for transfer, host North Ferriby United in the Vanarama Conference North.

AFC Sudbury meanwhile will be hoping to continue their excellent form, with a home win over Cray Wanderers which could propel them into a Ryman North play-off place.

Needham Market continue to set the pace at the very top of the table, and will look to extend their lead with three points away at lowly Great Wakering Rovers.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter