VIDEO: Izzet hoping to end Bloomfields spell with a play-off campaign + Ingram celebration
Kem Izzet is determined to go out ‘with a bang’ by helping Needham Market reach the play-offs at the end of the season.
The Marketmen head into their final three games of their Ryman League Premier Division campaign just one point adrift of the top five.
And while their club captain Izzet, who joined Needham after leaving Colchester United in 2013, is set to leave at the end of the season, the 36-year-old wants to finish on a high.
“I’m not sure if I’ll carry on playing next season,” said the former Colchester skipper, who made more than 400 appearances for the U’s between 2001 and 2013.
“My body is struggling a little bit, but if this is my last year at Needham I’d like to go out with a bang.
“I’ve got no definitive answer on what I’ll be doing next season, but I would like to get into managing somewhere.
“I’ve not been offered a new contract or anything at Needham so these next few games will be my last here.”
The Marketmen have enjoyed an excellent second season in the Ryman League’s top flight, having gone from a battle to avoid relegation in their first campaign, to an unlikely promotion push this time round.
But Mark Morsley’s side have suffered a dip in form at just the wrong time, with last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Metropolitan Police stretching their winless run to six league games.
Needham (eighth) head into a pivotal Easter weekend double-header needing a change in fortune if they are to climb back into the play-off positions.
First up this weekend for Morsley’s side will be a home clash with Harrow Borough (15th) tomorrow, before a Suffolk derby away at relegation-threatened AFC Sudbury (23rd) on Monday (both 3pm).
The Marketmen spent 182 consecutive days in the top five of the Premier Division table up until their 4-1 defeat at Staines Town two weeks ago, but will now have to rely on other teams to slip up if they are to move back into a play-off position.
“We’ve obviously not done ourselves justice in the last five or six games,” Izzet admitted.
n Needham Market are in with a chance of claiming a £10,000 cash prize in Marathonbet’s Non-League Challenge after being shortlisted in the search for non-league football’s best goal celebration thanks to Luke Ingram’s effort at Tonbridge Angels in March.
The wining club will also receive a friendly match against a team of Premier League legends hosted at the club’s home ground. To vote log on to www.nlc.marathonbet.co.uk/vote
Legends that have already been secured for this year’s Non-League Challenge team include Emile Heskey, Chris Sutton, Sol Campbell, Danny Gabbidon, Christian Dailly along with ex-Arsenal duo of Ray Parlour and Nigel Winterburn.