Morsley not surprised by success of Suffolk sides

LEISTON manager Mark Morsley is not surprised to see Suffolk sides currently occupying three of the top five places in Ryman League Division One North.

Leiston made the step up after winning the Ridgeons League Premier Division last season, and they are in third place sandwiched between leaders Needham Market and fifth-placed AFC Sudbury. Enfield Town, who visit Leiston tomorrow, are second.

Morsley said: “The three Suffolk sides, as with a lot of Ridgeons League clubs, are quite stable, whereas there is instability in quite a few clubs in Ryman League Division One North.

“Success is not just about having the biggest budget and the best players, but it is about having a good coach, good backroom staff, a good pitch and good administrative staff. That all helps to build the level of support which also creates good team bonding at a club.”

Leiston are currently seven matches unbeaten in all competitions ahead of what Morsley describes as a “tasty fixture” at Victory Road against Enfield.

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“They are flying at the moment and it should be a great game. That is why we are in this division to play these sorts of games. I think in time we can develop into a Premier Division side, but you need to adjust first.”

Morsley admitted it had taken Leiston time to adjust following promotion last season, although they have had their fair share of injuries.

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Patrick Brothers, Gareth Heath, Leon Ottley-Gooch and Nathan Stone have all missed chunks of the season so far while Stuart Boardley and Mark Goldfinch are close to returning to action after injury.

“We didn’t have a good pre-season because of injuries and we had a period of adjustment joining a new league, and we had to learn early on that you have to play for the full 96 minutes at this level!”

Morsley has juggled his squad with goalkeeper Louis Johnson signing from Hadleigh and taking over from Jamie Stannard as No.1, and Sheridan Driver arriving from Needham Market in a deal which saw Angelo Harrop return to Bloomfields. Rhys Henry, who has really impressed Morsley, arrived via Harlow Town and Luke Hammond returned after starting the season at Heybridge.

Lee McGlone, whose style is not suited to playing as a lone striker, is on a three-month loan to Hadleigh while Michael Brothers has been on a month’s loan to Harwich & Parkeston because of the imminent birth of his second child.

Leiston squad (from): Johnson, Munson, Saker, Wardley, Head, Jefford, Goldfinch, Hammond, Calver, Boardley, Merritt, Norfolk, Henry, Heath, P Brothers, Ottley-Gooch, Stone.

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