Life after football proves the key to stellar signing

STELLAR SQUAD: Mark Morsley has assembled a strong Needham squad
STELLAR SQUAD: Mark Morsley has assembled a strong Needham squad
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Mark Morsley has revealed how his ability to secure players’ futures away from the pitch enabled him to sign ex-professional Kemal Izzet.

The former Colchester United captain, who played more than 400 games in a 12-year period, before leaving the Essex-based outfit last week, signed a two-year deal at Bloomfields to become the fourth former professional among the Marketmen’s ranks alongside Ian Westlake, Jamie Guy and Kieran Leabon.

Although the 32-year-old midfielder had offers to stay in the Football League, namely Exeter City, Morsley — whose side host Brantham Athletic in a FA Cup first round qualifier tomorrow (3pm) — was able to use incentives away from football to his advantage to complete another exciting swoop.

“I read about Kem’s departure from Colchester last week and heard he had offers from League One and League Two clubs so thought nothing more of it,” he said.

“However, one of the guys at Colchester phoned my coach Steve Foley to say Kem was looking at doing some coaching, I rang Steve Ball – one of my old coaches now at Colchester – to get Kem’s number and persuaded him to meet me.

“The fact I could help him set up his academy worked in my favour and allowed me to offer him that incentive as well as continuing his football.

“He has the same attitude as Ian (Westlake), he was attracted to us not because of the money, because if that was the case he would have gone to Exeter, but to be able to maintain his football and develop other interests away from the pitch.

“They are proper football people who will ingrain themselves within the club, that doesn’t happen everywhere but we have that here.”

Despite assembling such 
a star-studded squad, Morsley is not concerned by the expected heightened expectation for success thrust upon the club.

“That added pressure from heightened expectation is something I thrive on,” he added.

“My expectations are the same as they were, I said we were good enough to get into the play-offs and that is still the case now.”