Wilkinson aims to be a Market star

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NEEDHAM Market’s Jack Wilkinson is determined to remain well within manager Danny Laws’ plans as he aims to play a starring role in what he believes will be a stellar season for the Marketmen.

The 20-year-old left-sided player showcased his undoubted potential on Saturday in his first start of the season, scoring the opening goal in an emphatic 6-2 victory over Gorleston in the FA Cup preliminary round — a performance that earned him the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award.

Having spent time out on loan in previous season with spells at Hadleigh United, Mildenhall Town and more recently Haverhill Rovers, Wilkinson — who made a total of 13 appearances in all competitions, scoring once, for Needham last campaign — is now hoping to hold down a first-team berth, starting with the trip to Chatham Town tomorrow (3pm).

“I was delighted with my performance on Saturday and it sets a tone for me to target each week,” he said.

“I started at left midfield and have played left-back in the past, they would be my two favoured positions but I’m just happy to be involved where ever the manager asks me to play.

“My times at Hadleigh and Mildenhall were good but the best time I had in terms of playing was at Haverhill under a really good manager in Peter Betts, who I owe a lot to because he helped me progress.

“However, now I am back at Needham my aim is to keep my place in the team and continue improving.

“Danny (Laws) has said he sees me in his squad and for me the aim is to try and start every game that I can and warrant my place.

“Obviously it will be up to the manager whether I keep my place in the starting line-up but I will be fully prepared, as I am every week, to play if I’m needed and do my best.”

The Bloomfields outfit have made an unbeaten start to the campaign, following up a 2-1 victory away at Ware with a hard-fought 2-2 draw at home to Heybridge Swifts and Wilkinson, who should be in contention to keep his place against the Chats, is confident the club can continue towards their aim of challenging for promotion.

“There is a really good mood in the dressing room at the moment and we are all focused on keeping our strong form going,” he added. “We learned a lot last year and hopefully we can keep pushing on to reach our target of promotion.”