DANNY Bloomfield has underlined his desire to carry on playing for as long as possible at Needham Market.

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The 30-year-old midfielder or striker is keen to continue playing after taking up a coaching role at the Ryman League Division One North club.

Bloomfield, who was appointed to the role a month ago, stressed: “I thought a long time about the coaching role when I was approached because I still want to be seen, first and foremost, as a player.

“I only turned 30 in the summer and want to play for as long as I can. I am really conscious that you are a long time retired, and I don’t want my new role to distract from me playing.

“I am not just at Needham to be a coach – I want to start as many games as I can. Since taking on the role I have not played as many minutes as I would like, but I started at Bury Town (in the Ryman Charity Shield) last week and it reiterated that I want to play.

“I want to play for another three, four or five seasons, if not longer, although you never know with injuries.

“And I think I am capable of doing so at this level, but if I have to play at another level then so be it.”

Needham Market manager Danny Laws didn’t have to look very far to strengthen his coaching staff when appointing Bloomfield, who has been helping ex-Ipswich Town star Kevin Horlock train the club’s academy players two days a week since the start of the season.

Bloomfield said: “I have been learning a lot from Kevin, who has been involved in the game for a long time and done it at the highest level, but talking to him he is like any normal guy off the street.

“We get on really well and our philosophies are very similar – we both like to play attacking football and press the opposition.”

Bloomfield owns three of Premier Sport’s franchises – in Suffolk, South Norfolk and Kent – employing 24 coaches in Suffolk who work in around 50 primary schools across the county each week.

Already a Level 2 coach, Bloomfield is planning to do his Level 3 to become a UEFA B qualified coach.

“I am really enjoying coaching and learning a lot. I want to get into management and coaching when I finish playing, although that hopefully won’t be for a long time yet.”

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