Payne enjoys life beside the seaside

CRAIG Payne has been enjoying life beside the seaside.

Payne is currently on loan to Felixstowe & Walton United from fellow Ridgeons League Premier Division side Hadleigh United.

The 24-year-old centre forward initially joined Felixstowe on a one-month’s loan, which is due to expire a week tomorrow, and is waiting to see what the future holds, although the likelihood is that he will be recalled.

Payne had been Hadleigh’s top goalscorer in each of the last three seasons, helping the Brettsiders win promotion to the Premier Division in 2008/09, but has found his chances limited this season by the form of Ben Deacon and Josh Mayhew.

He missed three weeks of the season after going on holiday to Mexico in mid-November and with the postponements that followed due to the bad weather. before Christmas, the bubbly striker was happy to go out on loan when offered the chance.

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He said: “I wasn’t happy sitting on the bench at Hadleigh – I just wanted to play some games. Hadleigh have been a big part of my career, but Ben Deacon and Josh Mayhew had been scoring regularly and I wasn’t starting games.

“As a goalscorer if you are not playing and scoring it does knock your confidence, so I saw coming on loan to Felixstowe as an ideal opportunity for me.”

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Payne, who scored his first goal for Felixstowe in his fourth start in the 5-1 home defeat to Norwich United last Saturday but missed Tuesday’s match at Leiston with a knee injury, continued: “I have really enjoyed myself here.

“The players and management have made me feel really welcome and treated me as though I am one of their own players.

“I find it hard to understand why they are struggling near the foot of the table as they have got some good players here. I think Felixstowe will definitely stay up – they have got the determination and players to do it.”

And Payne, who had a brief spell with Felixstowe at the start of his career, revealed that he would be keen on returning to Dellwood Avenue in the future.

“I am under contract at Hadleigh until the end of the season, but if I was to leave Hadleigh then Felixstowe would be top of my list of clubs to join.”

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