Timing the key to Jopling's decision

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:58 04 March 2010

STUART Jopling will be a key man when Debenham Leisure Centre play Brantham Athletic in the First Division of the Ridgeons League tomorrow.

And he confirmed today that he could be a key man for Needham Market next season.

STUART Jopling will be a key man when Debenham Leisure Centre play Brantham Athletic in the First Division of the Ridgeons League tomorrow.

And he confirmed today that he could be a key man for Needham Market next season.

Jopling, 34, had talks with Needham manager Danny Laws and chairman David Bugg in the autumn but decided to stay with Debenham and will be looking to improve on his 22 goals for the season against Brantham.

“I will be happy to talk to Needham again in the summer,” said Jopling. “Both Needham and Debenham have the same appeal to me.

“I have links with both going back a long while.

“The reason I turned down a move back to Bloomfields was purely down to timing.

“I had played in all cup competitions for Debenham and would have had to sit out when Needham played in the FA Vase etc.

“This could have meant losing my place even if I was doing well in league games.

“My sole job this season if I had moved would have been to boost Needham's league squad, and as they were mid-table at the time I didn't think that would have benefited me or Needham.

“But if the chance comes to talk to Needham again in the summer I will be happy to do so.”

Felixstowe and Walton United will be looking to build on their 5-3 victory at Stanway on Tuesday when Harwich and Parkeston cross the estuary to visit Dellwood Avenue.

Two goals from Gavin Crane, recently signed from Wroxham, a scorcher from Bradley Barber and a late brace from Paul Berry lifted the Seasiders out of the relegation places.

Danny George, made his debut along with the return to the club of Crane, and both are expected to face the Shrimpers.

Deadly striker Danny Phillips has moved to Needham and with other high-profile players having also moved on the financial situation has eased at Felixstowe.

And chairman Tony Barnes has every faith in new manager Glen Driver, along with his assistant Tony Kinsella, keeping the club away from relegation problems.

“The club is buzzing again,” said Barnes. “Results have been steady, but I am confident that despite having to dispense with our highest earners Glen will enjoy success with us.”

Phillips last season received the Ridgeons Premier Division Golden Boot award after netting 30 league goals and he scored over 100 goals for Felixstowe in under four seasons.

He is now in his second spell at Bloomfields and is set to face Haverhill Rovers at Hamlet Croft as Laws' side looks to start a league run that will see them rise up the table.

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