Morsley left as shocked as anyone by Needham’s newest marquee signing

SHOCK SIGNING: Former Inverness defender Chris Hogg (centre) has made a surprise switch to Needham Market PICTURE: Peter Paul
SHOCK SIGNING: Former Inverness defender Chris Hogg (centre) has made a surprise switch to Needham Market PICTURE: Peter Paul
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Mark Morsley has been left thanking his lucky stars after sealing the surprise marquee signing of former Hibernian captain Chris Hogg.

The 28-year-old ex-Ipswich Town youth star, who last featured for Scottish Premier League outfit Inverness Caledonian Thistle prior to rejecting a new contract in the summer, has signed a deal at Bloomfields until the end of the season.

And having seen his newest recruit in action in Tuesday night’s vital 1-0 victory away at Dereham Town, courtesy of Russell Malton’s first goal for the club, a shocked Morsley explained how the audacious swoop came to fruition.

“It really is a massive signing for us and I’m genuinely shocked because I fully expected him to have found a club in the summer,” he said. “He is only 28 and was part of a squad that pushed Celtic in the SPL at points last season, so it is unbelievable that have had the opportunity to sign him.

“Our connection to Ipswich Town with Steve Foley being a coach there and here really helped as he knew Chris.

“I think him and his wife wanted to be situated back this way and everything just sort of fell into place.

“He has already done his coaching badges and has a little electrical business, which I can help him with, and so everything just seemed right for him to be here at this time.

“He’s been training with us for a few weeks and we met 10 days ago. We really hit it off and he has signed with us until the end of the season.

“A little bit like Ian Westlake, he was concerned how he would adapt to playing non-League football, but he seems happy at the moment.

“The move ticks all the right boxes, he can earn a good wage doing all of his bits outside of football and still earn playing with us, which I think suits his situation.

“He also knows Westy, Steve Foley and Lee Norfolk really well so that helps, things just seem right.

“He may not be here long term as I fully expect clubs to look at him in the summer after putting himself in the shop window, but for the meantime we are obviously delighted to have him.”

Tuesday night’s victory kept the Marketmen well within the play-off picture, leaving them in eighth place, just two points off the top five, ahead of a visit from 13th-placed Aveley tomorrow (3pm).

Although the manager is remaining cautious ahead of the tie, he has been boosted by the news of a return from injury for leading marksman Sam Newson.

“It was an important win on Tuesday and we were 
delighted to come away from a difficult match with the 
victory,” he added. “Aveley will be another tough game, they will probably play quite a direct game so we will have to deal with the aerial challenges.

“Luckily we are very strong in that situation at the back so we should be able to cope.

“It is a game we have got to win really.

“Sam should be on the bench on Saturday and that will be like having a new signing at the club because he is that important to us.”