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Haverhill Borough ranks boosted by former Cambridge United, Notts County and Luton Town player Dan Gleeson's arrival

New Haverhill Borough manager Guy Habbin has admitted the club are not ‘as far down the road’ of preparation as they would like to be for the new season, but the arrival of former professional Dan Gleeson has been a major boost.

The 34-year-old defender made 168 appearances for Cambridge United in two spells with the club, as well as playing for Notts County, Luton Town, Lowestoft Town, Cambridge City, St Neots Town and Histon before hanging up his boots last season.

Habbin said he approached him after being ‘made aware that Dan was interested in playing again’ and convinced him to sign up to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side.

Histon FC v Petersfield Town, Dan Gleeson . Picture: Mark Hopkin. (13530669)
Histon FC v Petersfield Town, Dan Gleeson . Picture: Mark Hopkin. (13530669)

“We needed someone who can influence the younger players,” Habbin said. “We have a young squad – that’s the way the game has gone – so we do plan to play a lot of youngsters.

“Dan’s experience will be really important and he can get back to enjoying his football.

“It’s great to bring him in. It’s been very difficult to be honest and we are not as far down the road as we would like to be with the squad.

“The core needs to be more established and we need to play some games. I have already asked Dan what he thinks about potential players and we are looking to bring in a few more.

“Borough’s pluses are that we have excellent facilities and somewhere for players coming out of under-18s football to go.

“It’s a good place to come and develop as a footballer and Dan’s professional experience is an added bonus now.”

Borough played their first pre-season friendly on Tuesday night, hosting Mildenhall Town who, in turn, are preparing for their first season back in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division after relegation last season.

The match ended 3-1 to the visitors, in a game described by the club as ‘an excellent workout’.

Posting on Twitter, Borough said: “Good workout for Haverhill Borough this evening, really beneficial facing an excellent side in Mildenhall Town.

“Thank you to all those that turned out supporting the club this evening, hopefully see you on Saturday again as we welcome Haverhill Rovers and Saffron Walden.”

Borough will play a double header on Saturday, facing both their New Croft neighbours and nearby rivals (from 3pm).

Habbin added: “The start of the season is pretty important.

“I have to establish relationships with 18 players, rather than just one or two new signings, to learn where they are strongest and weakest and what they’re like, so pre-season is vital for us.”

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