Needham Market striker Seth Chambers has trials with Ipswich Town, Barnsley and Aldershot Town but focused on promotion push
After being involved in trials with three professional clubs in recent weeks, Seth Chambers is hopeful 2024 could be his big breakthrough year but is also keen to remain focused on firing Needham Market towards a historic promotion.
The 19-year-old who graduated from the Bloomfields club’s academy last summer served another reminder of his potential on Saturday with a hand in both goals in the Marketmen’s 2-0 home success against AFC Telford United in a man-of-the-match display.
After his well saved header provided the opportunity for Dan Morphew’s opener it was his intelligent run at a Kyle Hammond free kick, before firing in across goal, that saw him hit his 15th goal in just 28 appearances so far this season.
And his sparkling form in Kevin Horlock’s title-chasing side has seen him recently spend time with National League Aldershot Town and League One Barnsley before training and playing for Championship Ipswich Town’s Under-21s last week.
“It's always nice when clubs show a bit of interest,” said the Debenham-based player.
"Obviously I've scored a few goals, I've managed to do better than last year by getting a few more goals and assists and it's nice to see that that's maybe getting noticed a bit more.
"It's just all about keep getting goals, keeping your head in the shop window but most importantly focusing on where you're at and making sure you keep in the team for week after week.”
Chambers said he’s ‘more focused on Needham’ at the minute but admitted entering the professional ranks is the big goal.
"That's the dream, of course, since you were a young lad you'd like to play football full-time, that'd be amazing,” he said.
"If it happens it happens. I'd like to give myself every opportunity to do so and then if it doesn't happen I know I've given it my best and I'm okay with that.
"I'm not 20 until October so I’m still young and got a lot to learn, I'm not the finished article."
Needham manager Horlock, who represented the likes of Manchester City, West Ham United and Ipswich Town in his career, believes Chambers does have all the ingredients to follow fellow academy player Taylor Clark, who has just signed a new contract with Wycombe Wanderers, into the pro ranks.
On his recent trials, he said: "I think they're all still showing interest so he's gone in and done well at every club and that doesn't surprise me.
"He's obviously a great size for a forward, he's a clever lad, he scores all different sort of goals.
"We'll make the most of him while we've got him and if he does go we'll shake his hand, if he doesn't go then I'm made up as well as we can't lose as a football club.”
Having been impressed with his mature performance after putting him back in last weekend, he added: "We'll see where it goes, he's got a massive future ahead of him.
"Obviously we'll help him and try and develop him and try and get him where he deserves to be.”
Chambers and his Needham Market side, one point off top spot in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central with four games in hand, travel to basement side Berkhamsted tomorrow (3pm) ahead of Tuesday’s home rearranged derby with mid-table Leiston (7.45pm).
But Horlock will not be caught out underestimating the trip to Hertfordshire this weekend.
"You can look at it different ways, a lot of people would say they've only won one game all season, for me that makes it dangerous because that means win number two is probably around the corner,” he said.
"We'll have to be mad for it and we will be, the group of lads are fantastic.
"I won't let them take their foot off the gas, we'll have to go there full tilt and be our best to give ourselves a chance.
"If you start playing half cock or 50 per cent you can come unstuck because teams at the bottom, they've not won many games but they're fighting for their lives. They don't want to get relegated.
"Obviously with us being right at the top it's a chance for those teams to say 'right, this game could turn our season'.
"We won't be taking it for granted that we'll be going there and getting the three points, we'll have to work for it.
"If we do that and play anywhere as near as we can we'll have a good chance of winning."
Assessing the home derby with Leiston, who have won their last three games and played out a goalless draw with the Marketmen in August, Horlock said: "Yes, they're picking up results.
"Obviously those games aren't normally spectacles to be honest about it but there's obviously a bit of pride on the line and more than that we're desperate for the three points to keep us on our quest to try and get out of the division."
Reflecting on the 2-1 victory against AFC Telford United, he praised a ‘brilliant’ second-half display.
"It was a massive game for us,” said boss Horlock, “especially after last week's disappointment (3-2 away defeat) albeit we played quite well at St Ives who are beating everyone as we've seen again today.
“To bounce back after that disappointment made today even bigger against a Telford team that were trying to chase us down.
"I thought it was a tentative first half, I don't think we were particularly good, they had a lot of the ball and pressure which you're going to expect, we're not going to blow teams away, but I thought we addressed that at half-time and I thought second half we were brilliant.
"I thought we looked a threat and young Seth ran channels, he looked a real goal threat and got his deserved goal.
"The only way I could probably criticise that performance is we could have probably had more."