Tigers’ stalwart Warfield is keen to stay at Holbeach

Matt Warfield
Matt Warfield
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Holbeach defender Matthew Warfield is keen to link up with the club’s returning stars next season.

Warfield and goalkeeper Leigh Overton were the only players remaining from the 2012-13 UCL title-winning squad last season but several are returning to Carter’s Park after just a year away.

Title-winning boss John Chand is back at the club and has already persuaded the likes of Johnny Allen, Adam Jackson and Jamie Stevens to return so it promises to be an exciting campaign.

Warfield is delighted to see his former team-mates back but insists he enjoyed last season more than any other during his time at the club.

He said: “It was a real challenge, given that so many players had left, but I really enjoyed last season.

“I think Glen Maddison and Mark Melson did a great job taking us to a mid-table finish when everyone was tipping us to go down.

“It was hard for me when Glen left because I was caught in between, but it wasn’t John’s fault.

“I still want to play regularly so I will see if I am in John’s plans but I would love to stay here.”

Warfield hopes some of last year’s squad will be given a chance to show what they can do under Chand and fellow joint-manager Graham Drury.

He added: “It’s important that the club builds for the future and not just for one season.

“There are some good players at the club. I think Tommy Treacher can still do a job and Fraser Bayliss showed plenty of promise last season.

“Because of the quality of the players John will be bringing in, it will probably be borderline whether some of last year’s squad get in the team, myself included.

“I work with Johnny Allen, him as a bricklayer and me as a carpenter, and it’s great to have him, ‘Jacko’ and Jamie Stevens back at the club.

“They are good players who would walk into any team at this level.

“I can understand players leaving last season, whether it was because they were offered good pay or for a bigger challenge, but I’ve been at the club for about ten years and I was happy to stay.

“It’s not about money for me. I go to work from Monday to Friday to earn a living and I play football for the love of it.”

Chand recently named Warfield as one of those he wants to keep from the existing squad and the defender insisted: “I’d like to stay.

“I’m due to have a meeting with John, and we’re good mates away from football, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Maddison, who quit last month, felt his skipper was one of Holbeach’s best players last season and the left-back – who turns 32 this month – is keen to prove he can still do a job.

He added: “I still think I’m good enough and I am happy whether I play at left-back, central defender or in midfield so I think I still have plenty to offer the club.

“I’ve had a few offers over the years but I enjoy playing for my hometown club.

“I was at Wisbech as a teenager but then I came to Holbeach and it’s been a great club for me.

“I’ve played with a lot of good players and I would say Andy Tidswell and Rob Hughes are the best I have played with.

“Andy made scoring goals look easy and Rob was such a good passer of the ball.”

Hughes has been linked with a return to Holbeach and if he does return Warfield hopes he will be there to welcome him back.