Heath has no regrets at leaving AFC Sudbury
LEISTON’S Gareth Heath says he has no regrets at leaving tomorrow’s FA Cup opponents AFC Sudbury.
Heath, who was with AFC Sudbury for three-and-a-half years, quit the Ryman League Division One North club before the start of last season to join Ridgeons League Premier Division side Leiston.
Heath, who scored 28 goals in 46 appearances as Leiston won the Ridgeons League and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Vase last season, said: “Towards the end of my last season at Sudbury I had a few words with Nicky Smith, the manager, which didn’t get resolved and I felt the offer they made me was ridiculous, to be honest, so I decided to leave.
“It was disappointing because I had enjoyed my time there and got on well with the management and fans.
“I am looking forward to the FA Cup tie. There will be mixed feelings, but I will be going all out for a win for Leiston.
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“As far as I am concerned I have got nothing to prove - I feel I proved myself to everyone while I was there.”
Ironically, Heath will not be coming face-to-face with Smith tomorrow after the former Colchester United player quit the club on Thursday.
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Heath, who undertakes a 100-mile round trip for home matches, although he is able to travel with some of his team mates, added: “It will be good to catch up with people after the game. Sudbury is a good club and a well-run club.”
Heath will be one of several ex-Sudbury players - Stuart Boardley, Neil Calver, David Head and Shane Wardley also previously played at Kings Marsh Stadium - likely to line-up against their former club, while manager Mark Morsley managed the club and coaches Lee Norfolk and Nathan Munson also played for them.
Heath, who also played under Morsley while at Harwich & Parkeston, said he jumped at the chance to play for him again.
“I got on well with Mark and he sold Leiston to me. He said what the club were looking to do over the next two or three seasons, and the offer was an attractive one.
“I have no regrets at leaving Sudbury - I was disappointed at dropping down a level - but we have already achieved our first goal, which was to win promotion last season, and hopefully we can win promotion again this season, ideally through winning the league but if not via the play-offs.”
Heath, who was with Ipswich Town from the age of ten until 15, revealed: “My biggest regret in football was leaving Ipswich Town when I was nearly 16 because I was being played out of position - I went there as a striker and was being asked to play at right back - and I was not enjoying it.”