Former Ipswich Town and Cambridge United defender Ian Miller relishing player-coach role at Walsham-le-Willows
New player-coach Ian Miller is hoping his wealth of experience will rub off on Walsham-le-Willows’ talented young squad.
The 35-year-old’s move to the Moorish Sports Ground was confirmed late last week and he arrives with a CV that includes playing stints at Ipswich Town, Darlington, Grimsby Town and Cambridge United.
More recently the centre-back has turned out for Needham Market, AFC Sudbury and Bury Town, the latter of which he made 32 appearances for in the Isthmian League North Division last term.
But he now starts a new chapter with a club whose under-18s – many of whom have already played for Trevor Newman’s first team – impressed last season, winning their league and reaching cup finals. And Miller is keen to play a role in that development.
“At the age I am now I thought it was time that I started to make that transition into coaching and management,” said the two-time FA Trophy winner.
“I enjoyed it at Bury Town but I wanted to do what was right for me. Ben (Chenery, Bury manager) was keen to keep me at the club but there was no coaching role available and that is what I want to start making a move towards.
“I have always been a bit of an organiser and I am still hungry to improve myself and improve the people around me.
“There are a lot of good youngsters at Walsham – their under-18s did well and there is a real pathway.
“If I can pass on my experience, either in a coaching environment during training, or out on the pitch, that would be great.”
While Miller is excited at the prospect of cutting his teeth in coaching with the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club, he is also keen to contribute on the pitch.
“I am still in good shape and my body is not bad the day after matches and training so I want to keep playing as well,” added Miller, who made his Bury debut aged 17 in a team that included Trevor Collins, father of current Walsham player Matt.
“You are a long time retired as they say and I think it would have been a bit of a knee jerk decision to have given up playing straight away and gone straight into coaching.
“I still have something to give on the playing side of things. I want to be playing every week if I can and I feel I can do that alongside the coaching.”