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Written by Mark Morsley on .


We are ready for the challenges ahead

Today we can announce some major changes in the personnel that run our 1st XI and Academy.  After achieving the first aim since getting promoted to Step 3 in the non-league pyramid we are now looking to strengthen all areas of our football club.

The first big announcement is that from season 2016/2017 we have appointed Steve Foley as the Academy Head Coach.  Steve is someone who needs no introduction with vast experience in coaching in the Professional game from the 40+ years he has worked with Ipswich Town, Norwich City and Colchester United (where of course he also had a successful playing career).



Steve Foley

He is known for his ability to improve footballers of all levels and his appointment will allow our Academy to offer an opportunity to young aspiring scholars to improve and open doors for their football development.  We believe this appointment, in conjunction with the excellent educational programmes, puts us firmly at the forefront of Academy’s in the Eastern Region.  

Also joining Steve from our 1st XI management team is Arron Hall who will combine Academy coaching with his role at the Ipswich Town Academy.

Commenting on these appointments Academy Director RobertPeace said “I am delighted with the appointment of Steve Foley as Head Coach, he and his coaching team will establish an environment for the players to reach their potential and provide opportunities for them within the game.  I would also like to thank Kem Izzet and Karl Duguid for the work they have done during this season.

Part of the strength of our Academy is the career path we have developed for our scholars at the end of their second year.  As well as opportunities in industries away from coaching that we have negotiated there are opportunities within our Academy and it is great to announce that Toby Stollery and Jake Dye will also be working under Steve as coaches.  For Jake this is a great opportunity as he can combine this with his well earned 2-year contract with our first team.

Clearly these changes have left a hole in the 1st XI management set up.  However, we are today delighted to announce the appointment and return of Kevin Horlock as !st XI Assistant Manager and Tom Rothery as Head Coach.

Kevin Horlock

Kevin needs no introduction as he was integral in the setting up of our Academy and has had a successful career as a professional player and coach. He will combine this role with being the U18’s Coach at Colchester United and U21’s Coach with the Northern Ireland Squad.

Tom also brings a wealth of experience as a UEFA ‘B’ level coach and being a key component in the success that Brightlingsea Regent have enjoyed in recent years.


Mark Morsley

Needham Manager Mark Morsley said “although losing Steve and Arron left a void in my management team the benefits to the Academy and the club going forward can not be underestimated.  However, securing Kev and Tom more than makes up for this and I believe as a team we can work on the next step of project Needham, that being establishing ourselves in the Ryman Premier League.”

“All staff at both levels of the club now believe in our blue print of developing our own talent and merging that with established players with the same drive and ambition as I have.  I believe it is clear with these appointments as well as other key arrivals, in particular our new Commercial Manager Terry Fenwick, shows that we go from strength to strength.  This will go a long way to me achieving my aim of making Needham the most senior Suffolk club after Ipswich Town.”

Terry Fenwick

Needham Market FC Academy are hosting open trials on Tuesday 10th May6:30pm at Needham Market FC. For anyone aged between 16-18 who is interested in joining the Academy next season, please contact Robert Peace, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 07738084223 for more details.


Written by Mark Morsley on .

Needham Market FC have a vacancy for a Physio for their 1st XI.  This is an part-time employed/self employed position with the successful applicant being responsible for treatment and rehab for injured players as well as attending matches and training.  The position will start when the 1st XI return for preseason training in early July 2016.  

Interested candidates can apply before 14th May to 1st Team Manager Mark Morsley via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with CV detailing qualifications and any previous experience. 

Peter Smith RIP

Written by Mark Morsley on .

I was given the very sad news about Peter's passing away as we arrived at Aveley for the crucial game against Grays Athletic on Saturday.  It was indicative of the sort of people and their affection for our football club that his wife Diane and Peter were as she wanted me to know so we could 'win the game for Peter'.  If we needed a bit of an edge for that match then Peter gave us that.

I did not know Peter prior to rejoining the club in February 2013 and on first meeting I thought he was one of those abrupt Northerners, calling a spade a spade which in many ways is not what you want from a supporter and committee member of your football club!  However that would soon change when I found out he was a fellow Man City fan and also had the best interests of the club at heart.  He would rarely miss a game and when he did he would make sure I knew.  Although not always in agreement with my decisions he would always respect me as the Manager.

Larger than life and at his happiest with a pint of beer (something I can resinate with) I came to like him immensely, looking forward to that bit of banter we had on arrival at the ground. He will be sorely missed by both me and many others at Needham games going forward.

News from Bloomfields

Written by Mark Morsley on .

I am pleased to announce that we have agreed a loan deal with Cambridge United for striker James Akintunde.  The 19 year old is considered one of the U's brightest prospects and has recently been playing for Brackley Town in the Conferenice North.  He goes into the team for the 1st XI match at Leatherhead today.

I am also really pleased to announce that Jake Dye has penned a two-year contract with the club.  Jake is another excellent prospect who has come through our excellent Academy and having forced his way into the 1st XI in recent weeks this deal was well deserved.

Another piece of great news is that both Michael Brothers and Luke Ingram have agreed new deals for next season.  Both lads have been key part of the recent successes for our club and I am really pleased that they will continue in the development of our club.


This is an unforgiving league

Written by Mark Morsley on .

After having an excellent run in November and December I suspect that many of people around Bloomfield’s possibly felt we had got to grips with Ryman Premier Division football.  In fact, in many ways the levels of our performances and the excellent wins we had achieved that would be a reasonable assumption. However, that is a dangerous thing to do at this level and as I write these notes we are probably a bit too close to the bottom 4 places for comfort. 

We do need to take confidence from that run which gleaned us 19 points out of a possible 21, plus a fine win at Walsham le Willows has lined up a mouthwatering Suffolk FA Premier Cup semi-final with my old team Leiston.  This round of the competition is played at a neutral venue and I am pleased that we will be able to grace the excellent new pitch facilities at AFC Sudbury.  With that particular club involved I am sure the script writers are sharpening their pencils!

Sudbury's excellent 3G playing surface  - Venue for the eagerly awaited Needham v Leiston SPC Semi-Final on Tuesday 8th March 2015 

I really should mention the best performance of the season so far, that being the 1-0 victory away to league leaders Dulwich Hamlet. In front of a huge crowd we gave them a lesson in ball retention and counter attack football.  The goal itself was a great example of this when we sucked our hosts in and then broke with real pace and purpose allowing Jay Davies to score with a fine header. 

We had a couple of other decent chances which more than balanced out Dulwich’s greater possession which, in the main, ended up with wayward long range shots.  There was one outstanding strike that Danny Gay did remarkably well to get the faintest of touches to divert the pile driver onto the bar.

Danny Gay - has been a great signing since rejoining the club

The change in our fortunes came in the home fixture against Enfield Town when we were really poor and a 3-2 defeat actually flattered us.  The Towners adapted far better on the very heavy surface and looked far better than their league position suggested.  They came out of the blocks like a train and battered us.

I was looking forward immensely to returning to Victory Road on Boxing Day to face Leiston.  It was really great to catch up with a few people at the club and to have a chat with a number of the excellent supporters there.  On the pitch however we were well beaten by a far better side.  Having the experience at this level is huge and part of our education is to gain that experience going forward.  With the Blues now an established side in the division they very much used that to their advantage.

Richard Wilkins had them prepared, he had done his homework (as he always does) and they took advantage of the wind by giving us a bit of a lesson.  I would add that we possibly didn't help ourselves with some unforced errors but nevertheless it is all about taking the chances when they present themselves and that is what our hosts done; the 3-0 defeat was about right.

A thoughtful Wilks - his Leiston team were too good for us on Boxing Day

Postponements have played their part as has the amount of rain that has made our home pitch a bit of a leveler.  Nevertheless, we have started leaking goals and that is an issue that we need, collectively, to change.

I would add that it has not been all bad in 2016 and a home victory against Leatherhead was a key 3 points.  This was not a classic game by any means and very much a game of two half’s; we being a lot better and deserving to be 1-0 up from the first half and possibly we rode our luck a bit in the second half.  However, we have played better in games and lost so in many ways, you hope, these things even themselves out. 

In fact, we have suffered in two matches where we have been outstanding for parts of the game and not got anything for our efforts.  Bognor Regis away was a perfect example of this.  For the first 20 minutes we were battered and were fortunate to only be losing by 1-0 but after Michael Brothers equalised for us we were brilliant! 

On an excellent surface, despite torrential rain, our football was a joy to behold.  We dominated possession and created a number of half chances but the two gilt edged opportunities that we forged and missed, would be a turning point.

An excellent period of passing saw the ball crossed into the box and well struck by Jay only for the keeper to somehow stick a leg out and put the chance over the bar.  Another great cross from Jordan Patrick following a spell of patient build up play was well met by the towering Bruvs only to see it just go over the bar.  These missed chances would be our undoing as the proverbial sucker punch hit us as a long range shot went in off our post. 

JP who second half performance at Bognor was the best from him this season

Despite losing however, on the long journey home, I was proud of my team and the football we played.  I really believe, despite a recent bad run, we are not a millions miles away, so long as well tighten things up on the goals against column.

Our match away at Kingstonian was a prime example of this.  Playing at the excellent AFC Wimbledon ground we started very well with long passages of passing keeping out hosts very much on the back foot.  It was no surprise that Jay gave us the lead and at half-time the only thing missing was a few more goals.

Ingers who scored our second at Kingstonian

Expecting a reaction from the K's we set about our task again but managed to miss a number of great chances until Luke Ingram put us 2-0 up.  This was where a bit of naivety kicked in and when we should have been digging in to deal with our hosts starting the game with possession, at a time that is renowned as when a team is at its most vulnerable, we just opened up to allow our lead to be halved.

This was a pivotal moment in the game as we just lost our way and capitulated conceding 3 further goals to give the result a slant that really did not tell the whole story.  I have to say, as nice as it is to receive compliments, I am getting a bit tired of opposition managers saying how well we have played and how we should not be in the position we are.  Well that maybe the case for half of our game but to make sure we maintain our Ryman Premier status we are going to have to start achieving zero goals against, soon!

Over the past couple of weeks, we have welcomed a new player to the club and said goodbye to one.  Joining the Marketmen is midfielder Billy Holland from Ipswich Wanderers.  Bill has done really well at Humber Doucy Lane and I firmly believe he will make the step up with us. 

However, leaving us is Jay Davies (below) who is off to Australia and that is a bit of a blow.  Having worked hard to get Jay in to play in the 'No 10' role in our change of formation losing him is a bit of a disappointment.  At his best he made us tick and waded in with some crucial goals.  However, as they say, as one door closes another one opens and this will give the opportunity to another member of the squad to step into his role.  We wish him all the best in this 'adventure'.

The local ‘jungle drums’ have picked up on ‘one of our own’ being involved in an Ipswich Town Under 21’s game on Monday.  Keiran Morphew performed very well in a central defensive position against QPR in a game played at Playford Road.  Having been involved in a very small part in his development I was personally proud to witness this game and see the level of his performance.  Town have looked at him before and he certainly is a great prospect and a great lad.

What happens next will be down to Keiran and the Town coaching staff.  We as a club will give him every opportunity and support him fully, as we always do with the lads who have come through our excellent academy and been given a chance at Pro level.

What off course is comical and frankly slightly embarrassing is where certain media outlets start talking money and fees. 

I want to make abundantly clear that this type of reporting is unprofessional, unnecessary and without the slightest bit of foundation.  We are a club who are proud of our links with both Ipswich Town and Colchester United.  That relationship is something a number of us at Needham have forged over a few seasons and is based on mutual respect.  We do not operate in the world of sensationalism!

Hey Gaffer!! Is this how I do it?!?!?!

This coming weekend we travel to Lewes for the proverbial six-pointer.  Our first league victory in this our first season at Step 3, came in the home game so we need to be focused and ready for what will be a challenging afternoon.  

All the best


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