Turbulent campaign leaves Leiston boss Steve Ball aiming for promotion from Ryman Premier League...next season!

On the ball: Loanee Jack Simmons has returned to parent club Colchester United for the time being

On the ball: Loanee Jack Simmons has returned to parent club Colchester United for the time being - Credit: Archant

Leiston boss Steve Ball has set his sights firmly on promotion from the Ryman Premier League, but not until next season!

Following last Tuesday’s excellent 2-0 win over Suffolk rivals Bury Town, Leiston climbed as high as 10th in the Ryman Premier League and therefore within touching distance of Bury who sit in eighth position, five points in front of Ball’s men.

Ball’s league record since taking the reins at Victory Road towards the end of November impressively reads as eight wins, one draw and two defeats.

It is fair to say his impact has transformed Leiston’s season, who were once looking perilously close as relegation candidates earlier this term.

“The win against Bury was fantastic and allowed us to climb into the top 10 – which has been our aim for this season for quite a while,” said Ball.

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The Blues are now just five places off the Ryman Premier play-off positions and even though Ball admits that this season might be a step too far for his side, he insists that his side will give it their all.

“We’ll give it a good go,” exclaimed Ball.

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“Listen, even the position we’re in now seemed very unlikely 12 weeks ago.

“I’ve said before that we’ve come so far in such a short period of time and I’ll repeat that.

“To even be discussing the top five considering where we were, shows just how far we have come.

“But I know that it would be a massive ask to get into the top-five this season.

“You need a squad of 18 or 19 fully-fit players and I know it’s a bit of a cliché but we’ll just see where we end up.

“If we can stay in the top 10 come the end of the season that will be a huge achievement for us.”

Ball is only looking positively to what the next campaign brings though, and has one target in mind.

“We have a number of targets for next season that we want to bring in to an already really good squad,” added Ball.

“We’ll see how the rest of this season pans out but certainly promotion is an aim for next season.”

The Blues travel to AFC Hornchurch today, but without Colchester loanees Jack Simmons and Conor Hubble, who have returned to their parent club for the time being.

“The two lads from Colchester have had to go back for a Essex Senior Cup semi-final next week and that’s fine by me, that’s what they’re at Colchester to do,” said former U’s midfielder Ball.

“I’m hoping we can get those two back straightaway for the game against Met Police next Saturday.

“They’ve been great for us and have loved it here, their attitude has been first-class since they stepped foot in here.

“They’re helping us and we’re helping them so it’s a very smooth transition and I do hope to sign a few more from Colchester.

“With my links, I feel like it’s my job to get them to us and also my job to get them ready for Colchester.”

Today’s game is subject to a morning pitch inspection.

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