‘I am a different person off the pitch,’ says Lowestoft Town’s Danny Cunningham
FEW players have polarised opinion in recent years as much as Danny Cunningham.
The enigmatic left winger, who joined Lowestoft Town from Ryman League Premier Division rivals Bury Town in the summer, has as many supporters as detractors.
Richard Wilkins, manager of Bury Town where Cunningham returned for a second spell last season, recently described him as being like ‘Marmite’ when talking about the Ipswich-based player.
Cunningham said: “I can see why people say that, but people that know me see me differently. I am a different person off the pitch to on it. I have had my disciplinary problems, but that is how I play.”
Cunningham’s career with The Trawlerboys has yet to take off, due to a combination of injuries and a suspension left over from last season after, ironically, being sent off for Bury against Lowestoft, which led him to miss the Suffolk Premier Cup final at Portman Road which Lowestoft won 4-2.
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But Cunningham, who has played for four of Suffolk’s five top non-league clubs – Needham Market being the exception – is in no doubt that he made the right move.
He said: “I have enjoyed certain aspects of every club I have been at. I enjoyed my time at Bury Town. When I was first there I was coming up through the ranks and the club were in the Ridgeons League, and then when I went back the club were in the Ryman Premier League, which was why I went back.
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“When I left Bury the first time I went to AFC Sudbury, who were very professionally run, and then Leiston, who were an up-and-coming club, and the FA Cup run we had at Leiston was good to be involved in.”
But Cunningham, who described Wilkins as “a top bloke who has helped me a lot during my football career” and also paid tribute to current Needham Market manager Danny Laws, who was his coach while he was at West Suffolk College, admitted his career was at a crossroads in the summer.
“I was either going to stay at Bury Town for one more season or look at working some Saturdays, but when I spoke to Lowestoft Town I changed my mind.
“Coming to Lowestoft is like taking another step up. With the players we have here and the ambition the club has, everything seems to be done much more professionally.
“Bury Town are a very good team, but I think they can only go so far – the club have not got the ambition that Richard Wilkins has got. If they were to go up they would struggle, whereas if we go up I think we have the potential to hold our own.
“Whereas when I was at Bury if I was fit I was playing every week, if you have a ‘stinker’ here you will be left out.
“This is certainly the best squad I have played in,” he added.