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Hadleigh United appointed Steve Holder as player-assistant manager

After announcing his departure from Ely City, Steve Holder has joined fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division strugglers Hadleigh United as a player-assistant to manager Christian Appleford.

Holder, who became a key player for Ely following his arrival in November 2018, revealed on Sunday evening that he had decided to leave the Robins.

And now he has taken his first steps into coaching with a move that sees him reunited with Appleford – the pair having known each other from their stint working together at Mildenhall Town a number of years ago.

Steve Holder
Steve Holder

Holder, who has also played for the likes of Bury Town, Diss Town and Stowmarket Town, said: "I am 33 in the summer and this feels like a good opportunity to start learning the other side of the game.

"The game has changed since I joined Mildenhall about 12 years ago. Back then everyone played 4-4-2 but a lot of the lads coming through now have been at academies and they play a different way.

"I suppose I am part of the older generation and a bit of a dying breed, but I am really looking forward to the coaching side of things, as well as still playing.

Christian Appleford and Steve Holder won the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup with Mildenhall in 2011
Christian Appleford and Steve Holder won the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup with Mildenhall in 2011

"I have known Christian for a long time and we get on very well. Hopefully I can help us move up the table quickly."

By chance, the Appleford/Holder tenure will begin on Saturday with the visit of their former club Mildenhall Town (3pm).

The Brettsiders go into the clash bottom of the Premier Division, two points adrift of Ely.

* For reaction from Appleford to Holder's arrival – plus a look ahead to the weekend game with Mildenhall – see this week's Free Press print edition.

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