New signing Tyler Kemp believes the future looks bright for Haverhill Rovers after joining them from Ryman League outfit Witham Town.
The 19-year-old left-back had been getting regular first team football in Division One North, having made 11 appearances this season since joining the Essex team from AFC Sudbury, but he was more than happy to drop down one division and play for Rovers player-manager Michael Shinn.
Kemp enjoyed a successful loan spell at Rovers in October and November last year, making eight starts before his performances earned him a recall to his then parent club AFC and a regular starting place in their side.
Having returned to The New Croft on a permanent deal, Kemp’s second debut could not have been more dramatic as he scored a fantastic individual goal on the break to seal Rovers’ 3-1 victory over Stanway Rovers last Saturday.
Since the final game of his loan spell last season — a 2-2 draw at FC Clacton — the Rovers team has changed greatly, with just five of six of the 13 players used in that match still at the club.
Kemp, however, believes Rovers are now a better team. “I believe it’s got stronger since I was here last season,” he said.
“Obviously Shinny has done a lot of hard work to get good players into the team and I think it’s made a difference.
“The environment at Haverhill is just completely different to Witham.
“They’ve made me feel really welcome.
“I just want to improve my football and help Rovers move to a higher level.
“Shinny said he can see the improvement in the team and it helps that the whole team is quite close to each other.”
Kemp left Sudbury after being dropped for their Ryman Division One North play-off semi-final, despite having been first choice at full-back for months, and moved to Witham.
But despite being a regular there he admitted it ‘wasn’t the best move for me, I wasn’t really enjoying it.’
Having returned to Rovers he now sees a positive future for them.
He said: “I believe that the club and the fans are going to start seeing positive results in the league.
“I think we are going to improve as a team and go higher up the league as we go into the season.
“I believe there is plenty of depth in the side right now with the youngsters coming through.
“I think they are more than good enough and capable of playing in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.”
Rovers have a Premier Division match at Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday (3pm) before travelling to Mildenhall Town on Tuesday for a Suffolk Premier Cup tie (7.45pm).
lHaverhill Borough are in Suffolk Senior Cup action on Saturday when they travel to Touchline Suffolk and Ipswich League Senior Division strugglers Wickham Market (2.15pm) for a first round match.