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Former Chesterfield and Ipswich Town attacker Harley Curtis signs for Needham Market as Seth Johnson, Tevan Allen and Ollie Fraser commit to stay





Former Ipswich Town and Chesterfield attacker Harley Curtis has become Needham Market’s third summer signing while three players – including top scorer Seth Chambers and midfielder Tevan Allen – have been confirmed as staying at Bloomfields.

Versatile Curtis, 21, can play wide or central as an attacking midfielder or as a centre-forward and joins the newly-promoted Vanarama National League North club having got a taste of the division while on loan at King’s Lynn Town at the end of last season.

Having completed a two-year scholarship, the Ipswich-born player signed a one-year professional contract with his hometown club in June 2021 after a prominent role in the Blues Under-18s’ side’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2020/21. Curtis memorably scored the winner against Fulham in the third round ahead of the side bowing out to Liverpool in the last four at Portman Road.

Attacking midfielder or forward Harley Curtis has signed for Needham Market following his release from Chesterfield Picture: NMFC
Attacking midfielder or forward Harley Curtis has signed for Needham Market following his release from Chesterfield Picture: NMFC

Although he did not make a senior appearance at Town, he was used in Kieron Dyer’s Under-21s side and was loaned out to Braintree Town in March 2023, before being released that May.

Curtis joined up with former Ipswich manager Paul Cook at Chesterfield last summer, making six appearances in the Spireites’ National League title-winning campaign before joining King’s Lynn Town on loan for the second half of the season.

He adds to the recently-announced signings of central midfielder Ben Hunter and goalkeeper Danny Cullum.

And Needham’s assistant manager Tom Rothery has described their latest acquisition as ‘a big coup’ for last season’s Pitching In Southern League Premier Central champions.

"From the initial conversations with Harley I thought we had a good chance as I think we both will be good for each other,” he told the club’s website.

“Harley and his agent Cos have been excellent throughout and to be able to add someone of Harley’s quality to the squad is a big coup for us.

"His ability to play in any of the forward positions is a massive attraction to us alongside his quality and his experience from last season at Chesterfield, despite not playing lots, will be good for us and the fact he is a local lad will help him also.

Seth Chambers, last season’s top scorer, is remaining with the club for 2024/25 Picture: Mecha Morton
Seth Chambers, last season’s top scorer, is remaining with the club for 2024/25 Picture: Mecha Morton

“I am really excited to see what Harley will bring and should be an exciting one for the supporters."

Also speaking to Needham’s website, Harley said: “I’ve had conversations with players and staff around the club and it had caught my eye.

"After a great previous season I’m hoping the club can continue that form and have a good season in the National League North and win games."

It comes as the mid Suffolk club have confirmed three more players are staying on in Kevin Horlock’s squad, headlined by last season’s top scorer Seth Chambers. SuffolkNews had revealed the teenage forward, who scored 20 goals last season including 10 in the league, had been on trials with Ipswich Town, Barnsley and Aldershot Town during the second-half of the campaign.

Versatile midfielder Tevan Allen, a key member of last season’s side after joining in the summer, and winger Ollie Fraser, who previously represented the club with England Colleges, have also resigned.

It is understood the retained list at Bloomfields is now complete (15) ahead of the club’s first pre-season friendly, at home to higher-league Braintree Town – having been promoted to the National League – tomorrow night (7.45pm).

Needham Market 2024/25 squad:

New signings: Hunter, D Cullum (gk), Curtis.

Retained: Garnham (gk), Dye, Smith, K.Morphew (c), D.Morphew (vc), Hammond, Ingram, Brothers, McGrath, Williams, Lay, Mills, Johnson, Fraser, Allen.

Released: H Cullum, Harris, Lawrence.