Needham Market boosted by new signing Russell Short

Russell Short, in action for Bury Town a few years ago, has signed for Needham Market. Picture: ANDY

Russell Short, in action for Bury Town a few years ago, has signed for Needham Market. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Needham Market have bolstered their squad with the signing of experienced defender-cum-midfielder Russell Short, ahead of today’s home match against struggling Halesowen Town.

Former Bury Town stalwart Short, who played under manager Richard Wilkins during his spell at Ram Meadow, has been recruited from cash-strapped St Neots Town and will go straight into today’s squad.

The Marketmen are currently four points adrift of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Central, following a run of three defeats in their last four matches, including a rather unfortunate 3-2 defeat at league leaders Kettering Town last weekend.

“Getting Russell Short in is a big plus for us,” enthused Needham boss Wilkins.

“I have known Russell for a very long time, and he should help with our game-management, which I felt has been lacking a little, especially against the stronger teams this season.

“Russell is a bit like a Gareth Heath (Needham captain) character. He leads by example, and he will give me a lot of options, because he can play at full-back, centre-half or in central midfield.

“I see him as playing a vital part in our last 12 games of the season. It’s a great lift to have him on board, and he will go straight into the squad this weekend,” added Wilkins.

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Centre-half Kieran Morphew serves the last match in his suspension, but full-back Callum Sturgess came through training unscathed on Thursday evening after suffering a tight groin at Kettering.

“Halesowen beat Royston (1-0) last weekend, but they are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table,” continued Wilkins.

“So this is a game we should win. We let ourselves down against St Neots (1-0 home defeat), but otherwise we have done very well against teams from lower down the league this season.”

Ironically, new signing Short scored the winner for St Neots, at Needham, a couple of weeks ago.

Wilkins added: “I thought we were unlucky at Kettering. We took time to find our feet, but their keeper ended up getting man-of-the-match. We deserved at least a point, and hopefully we can be more creative in the final third this weekend.”

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