Promotion is just the start of Needham’s journey

CHAMPIONS: Needham Market players and staff celebrate being crowned Ryman League Division One North champions
CHAMPIONS: Needham Market players and staff celebrate being crowned Ryman League Division One North champions

Manager Mark Morsley believes securing promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division is just the start of Needham Market’s exciting journey.

Having remained firmly in the Ryman League Division One North promotion race for much of the season, the Marketmen finally got their hands on the title having secured the championship in style with an emphatic 5-0 win away at Chatham Town.

And although conceding securing promotion with Needham was the highlight of his managerial career, Morsley is determined not to rest on his laurels and just make up the numbers in the league above as the champions continue on their journey forward.

“This is an exciting journey for this football club and we know we have the potential to be more than just a Ryman Premier Division club,” he said.

“You only get further in football by deserving it. It has been two years of hard work to get here and the thing is it is now continuing to move forward, starting in the Ryman Premier Division.

“This is certainly the best achievement of my career and that is no disrespect to any of my other clubs.

“I was brought here to take the club on a journey and that is what I have done and what I will continue to do. It is a fantastic journey to look forward and that is why we are all involved, for highs like this.

“We will look forward to the Summer and then come back ready for a new challenge in the Premier Division.”

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Reflecting on the victory in Kent on Saturday, a proud Morsley hailed the nature of the his side’s performance and heralded them as deserved champions, having held off strong competition from nearest rivals Harlow Town.

“Obviously I’m hugely proud and really pleased,” he added.

“It was a really professional performance and when Westy (Ian Westlake) opened the scoring I didn’t think it was ever in doubt.

“We aimed to achieve promotion in two years, I’m delighted that we have managed to do that and that is all credit to the players and staff.

“We were the best team this season. Harlow pushed us all the way and you have to pay credit tot hem for their efforts this season.

“However, at the end of the day we achieved 104 points with the best goal difference. The table doesn’t lie, I think we are definitely deserved champions.”

As well as heaping praise on his staff and players, the manager was also quick to take the opportunity to pay tribute to Needham’s board, who have put complete belief in the manager since he arrived two seasons ago.

“The thing about this club is that we started all over again from when I arrived and put together a blueprint,” he said.

“Everyone at this club has backed me and to be able to repay their faith and belief with the title is a real achievement.

“They’ve allowed me to do what I need to do and the belief from people at this club has been phenomenal, I’m an incredibly lucky manager.”