Goalkeeper Dan Heath hoping to pursue a professional career
DAN Heath is hoping to continue to catch the eye after being named the Club Colours Player of the Season.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper is planning to pursue his dream of playing professional football and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Rodney Stack, who kept goal for Cambridge United in the Football League.
Heath has enjoyed an outstanding season for Hadleigh United and Leiston, where he spent some time on loan, and was understandably delighted to win the award.
He said: “I was absolutely chuffed when I found out. To win an award such as this across the whole of the county and several leagues makes me really proud.
“I have put a lot of work in over the last two years to get fit and trained hard twice a week, so it is nice when it pays off with an award like this.
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“Dean Greygoose (the former Football League keeper who also played for AFC Sudbury) has been training me for the last two years he has done so much for me I can’t speak highly enough of him and he certainly gets the best out of me.”
Heath’s displays at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Hadleigh led to his loan spell at Ryman League Premier Division Leiston, who had been impressed when he had played against them.
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“I wanted it to be my last year at this level, so getting interest from a club two leagues higher was very exciting.
“A couple of games were postponed, but I had a good game the night I made my debut against Wealdstone and I looked to push on from there. From my point of view I did okay at Leiston, but could have done better.
“My spell there gave me the belief that I am good enough for that level. I set myself high standards, which helps me to improve and develop,” said Heath, who was recalled by Hadleigh after an injury to Darren Moyes.
“I came away disappointed I had to leave because that is the level I want to play at, and I found it hard to come back down as it is a big step up - not just the fact that the standard is much better but also different grounds and the travelling involved.
“I went from playing for Leiston in front of 300-500 spectators to playing for Hadleigh at Norwich United with around 80 people watching!”
Heath, who had a good game in the FA Vase quarter-final 2-0 defeat at Tunbridge Wells, continued: “Hadleigh was a stepping stone – I played every week – and I loved my time at the club, which has got great potential, and I am disappointed to leave, but I hope to move onwards and upwards next season.
“I hope to get a trial or go training at a pro club to find out whether I have got the ability to make it and, if not, what I can do to improve. A lot of boys’ dream is to play pro football, and while I am still young enough I can still push for that dream.”