Kyle Hammond would’ve still been an Ipswich Town player, had injuries not struck – Leiston manager

Kyle Hammond on signing for Leiston.

Kyle Hammond on signing for Leiston. - Credit: Archant

Leiston manager Glenn Driver believes Kyle Hammond would be challenging for a place at Ipswich Town, and not plying his trade in the Bostik Premier, had he not been hit by injuries.

Right-back Hammond, who joined Leiston from Maldon & Tiptree this summer, came through the youth ranks at Portman Road and was being tipped for a big future.

The former Westbourne School pupil was on the verge of breaking into the first team at Ipswich before suffering two serious knee injuries that stopped him in his tracks.

Driver also expressed his surprise that Colchester United, who have a close relationship with Maldon & Tiptree, did not take a punt on the 21-year-old defender.

“I think Kyle would have been at Ipswich Town now, had it not been for the injuries,” said Driver.

“I firmly believe he would have still been there but when you are at a professional club you don’t seem to be given enough time to rehab and you can easily slip out of the door.

“I am surprised Colchester did not take a chance on him too, given his performances for Maldon & Tiptree last season.”

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It was during the Jammers’ Bostik North play-off semi-final victory in April that Driver earmarked Hammond as a potential new addition to his squad at Victory Road, although he had been aware of his talent for several years.

“I have watched Kyle’s career over the last two or three years and he has always impressed me,” Driver explained.

“I saw him in the play-off semi-final and he was outstanding. Like Ollie Brown he takes the ball forward well and his positional sense is good.

“I had an inkling that Ollie might be leaving and Kyle is a good replacement, who will have Joe Marsden as stiff competition.”

Meanwhile, Driver has not ruled out a return to Leiston for Ipswich-based Brown, who has dropped down two divisions to play for Stowmarket Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

“We left on very good terms and we did everything we could to keep him, but he is going to be a dad and needed a club closer to home,” Driver explained.

“If the opportunity arises next year – he might be back in the Bostik League with Stowmarket – he has agreed to sit down and talk to us at the end of the season.”

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