Needham Market can win Ryman League North title next season, says Ian Westlake
Needham Market midfielder Ian Westlake is confident his side can win the Ryman North title next season, so long as the majority of the squad stay with the club.
That was the news that will encourage Bloomfields fans today after the former Leeds United and Ipswich Town star committed himself to another season with the club.
Westlake, 30, was ruled out of much of the end of last season with injury as Mark Morsley’s side pushed towards the play-offs.
However, although he missed the late charge, he enjoyed his season at Bloomfields – and especially Morsley’s management style!
“It was nice to work with Steve (Foley) again and Mark Morsley,” Westlake said.
“Mark has so many ideas and I’ve never met a manager who goes with his gut feeling as much as he does.
“I’ve played formations this season I didn’t even know existed. The one we played against Chatham when we needed to win by about five goals, was unbelievable. But it was great and I enjoyed it.”
Although frustrated at being injured Westlake, who played more than 200 League games, says Needham have much to build on.
“Last season we started the season off with so many different players. “Almost the whole squad was new,” said Westlake.
“These sort of things happen at professional clubs but you soon get to know players as you are spending a lot of time with them. But in non-league you might only meet up on Tuesdays and Thursdays pre-season, so it takes time to get to know people.
“What I will say is that if Mark (Morsley) keeps the same squad together, with perhaps a couple of additions, then Needham Market will win the league next season. Not only was the squad that finished the season very strong, but we have some excellent academy youngsters coming through as well.”
Westlake netted eight goals in 31 games for Needham last campaign. Along with Chris Hogg and Kem Izzet, he was one of three ex-Football League players who ended the season at Bloomfields – whileJamie Guy and Richard Logan, fellow ex-League stars, also played for the Marketmen in different spells.