Haverhill Borough helping to restore goalkeeper’s passion for football

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While his long-term future at the club is uncertain, goalkeeper Paul Walker is savouring his stint between the posts at Haverhill Borough.

The 24-year-old’s arrival at The New Croft 3G earlier this month was somewhat of a coup for Borough, given that he has previously represented Wales at youth level and made one senior appearance for Football League side Northampton Town.

In addition, the Haverhill-based custodian has represented Corby Town and Kettering Town higher up the non-league pyramid, before opting to quit the game earlier this season after becoming disillusioned with life at the latter of those two clubs.

But, after some cajoling from members of the Borough squad, Walker dusted off the gloves for the first game of 2017, and made an instant impression — saving a penalty during the 6-0 win over Wisbech St Mary.

Established teams have already expressed an interest, but for now, Walker will continue to reginite his passion for the game in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.

“I quit Kettering because I was not enjoying it. There were too many egos and politics going on,” he said.

“And when you are travelling that far three times a week for something you are not happy doing, it is pointless.

“I work with a few of the Borough lads and they have been pestering me for a while to sign!

“I wanted to get back to enjoying my football again and that is already happening — the lads have been great and it is good to be back involved.

“I am also training at Cambridge City (Southern League Premier Division) and they are monitoring my progress.

“Who knows what will happen in the future?

“Without sounding arrogant, if an offer comes along I would have to consider it, but I am very happy to play for Borough.”

What is for sure is that Walker has joined a team enjoying a fine season.

Saturday’s 3-2 win at Leiston Reserves, coupled with results elsewhere, saw Borough move up to fourth and just three points outside of the promotion places.

They also remain in the Suffolk Senior Cup — a competition where the final is played at Portman Road.

And having played his part in two consecutive victories, Walker has been pleasantly surprised with what he has seen so far.

“The standard of football has been a good surprise,” added the goalkeeper.

“The lads at Borough are a decent passing side — they do not just look for the long ball.

“To be honest, they play better football than some of the clubs I have been at in the past.

“And the facility with the 3G surface is great.”

n On Saturday, Borough host eighth-placed Woodbridge Town, while fellow New Croft tenants Haverhill Rovers are at Godmanchester Rovers in the Premier Division (both 3pm).