MARK Morsley has agreed a four-year deal to be first-team manager of Needham Market from the start of next season.

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Needham have moved quickly to secure the services of Morsley, who resigned from Ryman League Premier Division Leiston last Friday, citing ‘new challenges’ as the reason for his sudden departure.

Current manager Danny Laws will take on the role of head coach at the Ryman League Division One North club.

Morsley said: “Previously I have had four very happy and successful years at the club, three as manager and one as general manager. During the period as general manager I struck up a friendship as well as massive respect for Danny Laws and it was his desire to be instrumental in getting me back into the club that first attracted me to the position.

“When I first joined the club in 2003 they had put the foundations in place that allowed me to take them to the upper echelons of the Eastern Counties Premier Division. Danny took that further and has done an unbelievable job since then.

“Over the past two years Needham have been further developing the foundation of the club with the Academy and they now have 36 full-time students developing their footballing skills under the eye of Kevin Horlock, a man who excelled in the professional game both nationally and internationally.

“The club is now looking to push on and the offer to return and be a part of this was one that I just could not resist. The attraction of working with Danny Laws again and his desire for me to return was also massive.

“Playing for Needham in the coming months and years will be a place where ambition can be satisfied, potential can be developed and we can package that up in a product that will be good on the eye for the paying public.

“I believe there are few clubs with the potential Needham Market has; a great facility that is owned outright, great people focused on success running the operation, a successful Academy, perfectly positioned geographically to attract players from a wide net and now hopefully a man at the helm who can pull all this together.”

“I have been so lucky to have worked with some great coaches over the years; the Ball/Norfolk/Munson trio who were with me at Leiston was a great experience and of course working with Steve Foley this season has been unbelievable; returning to working with Danny maintains those high standards.

“I believe that Needham Market has so much potential and taking them forward is exactly the challenge that is right for me now. I have a few months now where I can recharge my batteries, watch a few games and get a handle of the current players at Needham including the Academy lads.”

Morsley outlined his plan for next season.

He said: “As I will not take up my position until the end of this season it will allow me to put a number of things in place for the next step in the Needham Market success story.

“In addition to Danny I will be looking to appoint a strong management team; that has always been my way and that will continue. I will also be looking for players to complement the ones in the current squad who show the desire to be a part of what will be an exciting ride.

“Steve Foley told me a story about when he asked Alex Ferguson what was the secret about having a good team, Alex replied ‘good players’. In my years in non-league football I have been fortunate to work with a lot of good players and that will be key to the success at Needham. The term good though has many facets and one of those is potential so having experience in the building is key but so is raw desire.

“Playing for Needham in the coming months and years will be a place where ambition can be satisfied, potential can be developed and we can package that up in a product that will be good on the eye for the paying public.

“I believe there are few clubs with the potential Needham Market has; a great facility that is owned outright, great people focused on success running the operation, a successful Academy, perfectly positioned geographically to attract players from a wide net and now hopefully a man at the helm who can pull all this together.”

Needham Market chairman David Bugg said: “As soon as I heard Mark was leaving Leiston I made contact with him because I thought he was going elsewhere.

“I held meetings over the weekend with Danny Laws and (chief executive) Graham Emmerson, who was instrumental in getting the deal done.

“We are really pleased to have him on board because I believe we have one of the most successful managers and best coach in Suffolk. Nothing is guaranteed, but it puts us on a good footing.

“When Kevin Horlock joined us he said Danny Laws was one of the best coaches he has ever worked with.

“Danny has had a fantastic six seasons as manager and is looking forward to his new role as coach.”

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