FOOTBALL: ‘Unfinished business’ for Spalding United number one

Michael Duggan
Michael Duggan
Have your say

Michael Duggan admits it was an easy decision to stay with Spalding United next season.

The goalkeeper has made more than 200 appearances for the Tulips since signing from St Neots Town in February 2013.

Duggan is already looking forward to another campaign as Spalding set their sights on promotion.

The 30-year-old said: “I’ve been at the club for so long and they have always looked after me.

“At the end of any season, I always make the point of speaking to Spalding first, rather than talking to other clubs.

“After last season when we missed out so narrowly, I feel there is a bit of unfinished business here.

I’ve been at the club for so long and they have always looked after me.

Michael Duggan

“So I wanted to stay and help Spalding go one better.

“To be honest, my decision was made even easier this time because nobody else got in contact.

“Usually, I dread having those phone calls and then making a decision. But I think other managers know I’ve been here for so long that I’m not looking to leave now.

“There was always going to be interest in our players – especially Nathan Stainfield and Bradley Wells. I don’t think anyone can complain about them going to a higher level.”

Duggan, Stainfield and Wells were all named in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s First Division South team of the season as reward for key roles in the promotion challenge and third-place finish.

Duggan, who had played through the pain barrier in the play-off final defeat away to Witton Albion, added: “My target at the beginning of the season was getting into the team of the year.

“I thought I had a chance the previous year, although Spalding’s season fizzled out.

“Last summer, we had a few changes at the club as Dave Frecklington came in.

“I felt that the season had started well and I was getting into my stride when I picked up an injury after Christmas and missed a few key games.

“I had written off my own chances and thought I would miss out again.

“But then Chris Rawlinson rang me one day, asked what my target had been and said ‘well done’.

“I was over the moon to be selected because there are some good keepers in this division. I think the quality is getting even better.

“Massive credit and thanks must go to all the lads in front of me for their efforts.

“I thought a couple of lads were unfortunate not to join us in the team of the year.”

Looking ahead to August, Duggan said: “A lot of clubs at our level seem to be getting their business done quickly this summer and not letting things drag out.

“Players can sit back and relax but the manager has got to replace a couple of key members of the squad.

“There are more local teams in our division next season and we’re all looking forward to it.”