Parker pays gushing tribute to Needham

CRAIG Parker has paid tribute to Needham Market Football Club after the club’s leading goalscorer last season joined Chelmsford City on a 12-month contract.

The prolific Parker was a fans’ favourite at Bloomfields and clearly that extended to committee members and club staff alike.

And it is clear the feeling was mutual even if the chance to play football just one step away from the conference was just too good to turn down for the 25-year-old midfielder.

Parker said: “I had a great time at Needham, they are a fantastic club. I can’t speak highly enough of Danny Laws (the manager) or David Bugg (chairman).

“I have known Danny since I was 16. He has been an excellent influence on my career and done a fantastic job at Needham.

“It is a great club to be part of. It is run properly and everyone from the committee members to the fans have been brilliant to me.”

Bugg said: “One bonus about this job is that you meet some really good people as well as good players and Craig was both. Having scored more than 40 goals last season from midfield, we knew clubs would come in for him but he goes with our best wishes. He has been outstanding for us and if he scores just half the goals for Chelmsford as he did for us, he will still be a fantastic signing for them.”

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City boss Glenn Pennyfather admitted the move for Parker was something of a “gamble” for both club and player but the ambitious midfielder is confident of his own ability.

But the switch across the border to the Melbourne Stadium, and a chance to play football two steps higher, was just too much of an appeal for Parker.

“Chelmsford are a massive club and this is an excellent opportunity for me,” Parker admitted. “I spoke to Chelmsford and listened to their plans for next season and their hopes of getting promoted. I just couldn’t turn it down. I am confident I can play at that level. Glenn’s very positive and I want to get in the team and be part of that.”

Parker was one of four players signed by Pennyfather including former Ipswich Town reserve captain Justin Miller, the defender who made over 60 appearances for the Blues’ second string.