Heath ‘gutted’ to miss Vase trip, but excited to move up

BIG CHANCE: Dan Heath, who is looking to earn a permanent deal at Ryman Premier side Leiston
BIG CHANCE: Dan Heath, who is looking to earn a permanent deal at Ryman Premier side Leiston

After Dan Heath moved to Leiston, Hadleigh United manager Stuart Crawford has said he wasn’t able to keep two top goalkeepers happy.

The 22-year-old former Cambridge United trainee has the chance to prove himself at a higher level with Ryman League Premier Division side Leiston and told the Free Press he couldn’t speak highly enough of Hadleigh after spending 18 happy months at the Millfield.

The supporters’ player of the year said: “I had a fantastic time at Hadleigh. I absolutely loved it and I could not be more grateful.

“Leiston is a great opportunity for me and I am going there to play, I would not go anywhere if I was not going to play.”

Heath, who admitted to being ‘gutted’ to miss Hadleigh’s massive FA Vase fourth round tie at AFC Emley, which was postponed for a second time on Saturday and due to finally be played in west Yorkshire this Saturday (3pm), is on a two-month loan deal at newly-promoted Leiston, with a view to a permanent move.

Crawford said: “The scenario is we have two excellent goalies who are on a similar level.

“At the moment Moysey (Darren Moyes) has got the shirt and at this level you cannot keep two goalkeepers of that quality happy.

“Mark Morsley (Leiston manager) had goalkeeper isuses and I managed to agree with him Dan can go there, which suits everyone.”

He added: “I know for a fact he was disappointed we did not apply for promotion as he wants to push on.”

With Heath being under 24 years old, Hadleigh would be entitled to a fee if he were to sign permanently or compensation if they offered him equal terms or above for after his current deal expires in May and he moved on.

Crawford is happy to trust 18-year-old former Ipswich Town youngster Charlie de Lara Bell as his back-up goalkeeper after some impressive performances in the reserves.

Meanwhile, speedy winger or striker Danny Allen, who scored nine goals from 35 league appearances last season, has joined First Division side Ipswich Wanderers having struggled for form since returning from a long-term injury.

“I suggested he go on loan for a month and he was not comfortable with that and asked to leave,” said Crawford. “I am not going to stand in his way.”

Veteran striker Danny Bloomfield has signed a permanet deal with the club to move from Needham Market along with right-sided player James Evans, though only Evans’ transfer went through in time to play at AFC Emley on Saturday.

n For live updates of Hadleigh’s FA Vase fourth round tie at AFC Emley on Saturday, (3pm) follow 
@BishDerek on Twitter from 2.30pm.