Dream debut for Newman after move to Brettsiders

FLYING START: Jack Newman marked his Hadleigh debut with the winning goal on Friday. Newman moved from AFC Sudbury to the Brettsiders in a bid to get more game time
FLYING START: Jack Newman marked his Hadleigh debut with the winning goal on Friday. Newman moved from AFC Sudbury to the Brettsiders in a bid to get more game time

Hadleigh United have pulled off a transfer coup by landing AFC Sudbury’s Isthmian League Division One North title winner, Jack Newman.

The ex-Ipswich Town Academy, Woodbridge Town and Needham Market midfielder completed the move last week, and marked his debut on Friday night by scoring a 58th minute winning goal in Hadleigh’s 1-0 home victory over Ipswich Wanderers.

Newman’s father Louis was manager at the Brettsiders for seven years, leading the club to a Suffolk Premier Cup triumph in 2004 when they beat Long Melford on penalties.

AFC released Newman from his contract after he indicated he wanted a move to get more regular first-team football.

The 21-year-old made seven appearances for AFC this season, four of them coming from off the substitutes’ bench.

In his first season at the club, having signed from Needham Market, he played 38 times and scored one goal as AFC won the then Ryman League Division One North title. He played 23 times, scoring three goals, during the relegation campaign in the Isthmian League’s top tier — the highest level Sudbury had ever played at. But it was also a campaign which saw Newman loaned out to Wroxham in the division below, with first-team opportunities more limited.

Of his move to Hadleigh, Ipswich-based Newman said: “It’s 10-15 minutes from my house. It’s been in the pipeline for about a week or so now, as I had a chat with the manager and said I love it at Sudbury but I’m not getting enough minutes as I would want.

“I was in and out of the team a lot and just wanted to go somewhere to play my football week-in week-out and enjoy it, which I think I will at Hadleigh. The club is close to me personally and I know a few lads over there, so I am really looking forward to a fresh start and a new challenge.”

On Tuesday, Hadleigh lost 1-0 at home to First Division Little Oakley in the League Challenge Cup, Ryan Smart scoring after 12 minutes.

Hadleigh have three wins from their eight opening Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division matches, following Friday’s victory over Ipswich Wanderers, leaving them 17th in the table after the weekend’s matches.

Hadleigh chase FA Vase glory on Saturday when they are at home to Sawbridgeworth Town in the second qualifying round (3pm).

Ben Licence has moved from Hadleigh United to First Division Debenham LC. He was with Stowmarket Town last season when they won the Thurlow Nunn League First Division title but moved to Hadleigh United where he made six appearances.

Debenham manager Mark Benterman said: “It has not worked out for him at Hadleigh but he is a winner and you cannot have enough of those in your squad. He won the league last year and that can only be a positive thing for us.”

Licence played in the 3-0 home defeat by leaders Woodbridge Town on Saturday.