Pip Boyland following in father Phil’s footsteps

LIKE father, like son.

Needham Market’s Pip Boyland is following in his father’s footsteps and making a name for himself as a top quality non-league defender.

His father, Phil, played for Braintree Town, Bury Town and Sudbury Town during his career, appearing for Sudbury in the FA Vase final beneath the twin towers at Wembley Stadium in 1989.

Now Pip, real name Philip, is also carving out a successful career as a centre half despite his 5ft 8ins stature.

The 25-year-old, who recently made his 150th appearance for the club, said: “I model myself on him and am following in his footsteps. He gives me all the information and tips he can to help me improve.

“Since I have been here I have played in every position except up front and in goal, but fair play to (Needham manager) Danny Laws because he put me at centre half, whereas prior to that I had played either as a right back or left back.

“He is a quality coach and very knowledgeable about the game and is improving me as a player.”

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Boyland joined Needham at the start of the 2009/10 campaign that culminated in the Marketmen completing a Ridgeons League Premier Division and League Cup double, and a subsequent move up to the Ryman League.

Needham’s first season in Division One North last season ended in heartache as they lost at home to Brentwood Town in the play-off semi-final.

“That was a difficult time for us. Prior to that we had done everything right, although we didn’t do quite enough to win the league, but then we were sloppy in that one game in the play-offs.

“There is only one automatic promotion place, which makes winning promotion difficult, but I think we are more than capable of making the step up this season,” he said.

Pip is never short of support when Needham are playing at home – dad Phil, mum Lesley and his grandparents are all season-ticket holders at Bloomfields.

“I am very lucky. It is nice having that support every week – it gives me confidence,” he added.

Boyland, who required stitches after sustaining a nasty knee injury in the 0-0 draw at Harlow on Tuesday night, will miss tomorrow’s league game at home to Chatham Town.

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