Needham Market move on five senior players
NEEDHAM Market are moving on five players as manager Danny Laws freshens up his squad with a view to next season.
Laws, who has accepted that promotion from Ryman League Division One North is beyond Needham this season, has also cut short Sam Newson’s loan spell at Lowestoft Town and recalled the striker along with two of his Academy players from Thetford Town.
Utility player Jack Wilkinson and striker Jordan Pavett have been released and utility player James Evans has already signed for Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Hadleigh United.
Defender Nathan Clarke, who signed in the summer from AFC Sudbury, is set to join Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division leaders Walsham-le-Willows on loan for the rest of the season, while striker Danny Bloomfield has agreed a deal to join Hadleigh, with both deals subject to the paperwork being completed.
Laws said: “I called a squad meeting on Thursday night and said there would be changes and asked if anyone wanted to volunteer for a new challenge.
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“Nathan needs to get more consistency into his game - he has been suffering from not having a pre-season after undergoing surgery in the summer - and Walsham, who are one of his former clubs, were keen on him while Danny wants to prolong his playing career and so has put his coaching on hold.
“James said he fancied a new challenge. He has been a massive factor at the club over the last seven seasons, making more than 300 appearances, but with me wanting to give youngsters from our Academy an opportunity he decided to go.”
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Laws admitted that Wilkinson’s opportunities had been limited this season due to the form of Jemel Fox, the arrival of Matt Redgrave and the re-signing of former skipper Rhys Barber, and the same applied to Pavett since signing in early December and then getting sent off in only his second appearance.
Needham, who were last year’s beaten play-off finalists and currently occupy 13th place in the table after failing to win a home league game in 11 attempts so far this season, will be saving money on wages as Laws reduces his squad to just 11 senior players.
Laws said: “We are not going to achieve our goal of promotion this season so therefore my goal becomes preparing for next season. A big factor in that will be the introduction of our Academy players. There is no better time to see what those apprentices who are doing well under Kevin Horlock can do at this level and whether they can be part of next season’s promotion push.
“I want to create a different environment where players are hungry to be involved next season and youngsters have the chance to stake their claim.”
Newson, who joined Lowestoft on a three-month loan at the start of December, has had limited game time since joining the Trawlerboys, and Laws was keen on bringing him back.
Laws said: “Sam has an infectious personality and I am sure he will play at a higher level in the future. He is certainly good enough to play at Step 3, but I had a recall on him and am exercising my prerogative. We made the decision to bring him back because we need to score more goals and we hope he can hit the ground running and maybe attract interest for when his contract runs out in the summer.
“I am pleased to have him back. I know he enjoyed his time at Lowestoft - the training was good and everything was very professional - and they didn’t really want to let him go because you can never have enough good players in the building.”
As well as Newson, Laws is recalling youngsters Tom Dew and Kieran Morphew, who have both been on loan at Thetford Town this season, and is to speak to Felixstowe & Walton United manager Kev O’Donnell regarding the possibility of recalling Ryan Charles.
“I have 11 senior players left in my squad and with Duane Wright suspended for three games at least one of our apprentices will go into the team on Saturday,” added Laws.