I’ve finally grown up now, says new Needham Market’s former AFC Sudbury, Bury Town, Leiston and Lowestoft Town player Danny Cunningham

Danny Cunningham

Danny Cunningham - Credit: Archant

Newly ‘grown up’ Danny Cunningham is targeting promotion with Needham Market next season after he was persuaded to drop down a division to play for the ambitious non-league club.

Newly ‘grown up’ Danny Cunningham is targeting promotion with Needham Market next season after he was persuaded to drop down a division to play for the ambitious non-league club.

The 26-year-old winger – a self-admitted divisive character – was at a major crossroads in his career just a year ago following a turbulent 2012/13 campaign. First he walked away his contract at Lowestoft Town halfway through the season, then he left Leiston on equally bad terms.

Bury Town gave him a chance to prove he was changed man and Cunningham – who spent time in jail for drugs offences in 2008 – repaid their faith by playing a starring role in a struggling side.

The west Suffolk side have endured well-documented financial problems though and, as a result, the midfielder has moved on again – reunited with his former AFC Sudbury and Leiston boss Mark Morsley in the Ryman League Division One North.

“I’m not the quietest and I know I haven’t helped myself in the past,” said Cunningham. “I’m a lively character, what you see is what you get, and I know that some people like me and some people don’t.

“I feel like I’ve finally grown up now though. The penny has to drop at some point and for some people it takes longer than others. I’ve got a little lad now, I’ve moved out of town to the country and I’ve made lifestyle changes.”

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On his decision to leave Ram Meadow, Cunningham said: “Bury Town benefitted as much from Danny Cunningham as Danny Cunningham benefitted from Bury Town last season. I went there and grafted and I played well.

“The chance to sign for Needham was too good to turn down. They are a club on the up and Bury aren’t, it’s as simple as that.

“I’m going to get to work with some really experienced people like Steve Foley, Kem Izzet and Ian Westlake. That can only make me a better player.

“Promotion is a must – anything below that will be failure as far as I’m concerned.

“I’m not interested in the play-offs or anything like that, no messing around, we need to have a flying start, win our first five or six and then not look back.”

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