Horlock gunning for Needham play-off triumph

KEVIN Horlock has insisted that achieving promotion with Needham Market would rank up there with anything he has achieved in a glittering football career.

He may well have played more than 490 games for the likes of Swindon, Manchester City and Ipswich Town as well as been capped 32 times for his country.

But on the eve of tonight’s semi-final showdown with Brentwood at Bloomfields (7.45pm ko), the Northern Ireland international has made it clear how important he views getting Needham promoted to the Ryman League Premier Division.

Horlock said: “It would be massive for me and the club. Some people might think it doesn’t mean a lot to me but it does. It was great playing in the Premiership and earning a fair amount of money, but these last couple of years at Needham have been as enjoyable as at any time in my career.

“The most important thing for me is about achieving things with a good team and being part of something special. We have that at Needham and getting promoted would rank up there with anything else I have done in my career.”

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Horlock played more than 150 times for both Swindon and Manchester City before spells at West Ham and then Ipswich where he made another 50 appearances.

He joined Needham in August 2008 as a player and assistant manager to Danny Laws with the club winning the Ridgeons League Premier Division last season. Now he is hoping to draw on his experience to help his team mates achieve back-to-back promotions.

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And he is hoping to continue his play-off success after being part of – and scoring in – Manchester City’s thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Gillingham after trailing 2-0 in the old Second Division play-off at Wembley 12 years ago.

Horlock, 38, said: “Everyone at Needham set themselves the target of getting promoted this season and we have had a brilliant year. We missed out on the title but our season now boils down to tonight and possibly a final.”

With Needham unbeaten at home all season, Horlock added: “It is vital that we are at Bloomfields and we are hoping for a great crowd tonight. We won’t underestimate Brentwood, but we play entertaining football and it should be a great game to watch.”

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