Stuart knows he can keep netting

LOCAL SOCCER: Stuart Jopling, looking to extend his scoring sequence to six consecutive games, has set his sights on scoring 300 goals for Stowmarket Town.

By Elvin King


STUART Jopling, looking to extend his scoring sequence to six consecutive games, has set his sights on scoring 300 goals for Stowmarket Town.

The 28-year-old goes into the Jewson League Premier Division match at Newmarket Town tomorrow on 139 goals having hit the back of the net 20 times this season.

"I have put no limit on how long I will play – it could be 32 it could be 40," said Jopling today. "But I have every hope if I stay fit that I can score 300 times for Stowmarket."

Jopling has scored in the last six Stowmarket away games; and in eight of the club's last ten.

Most Read

"I feel I am playing better than at any time in my career," he said. "My confidence is high and chances are coming my way.

"At the moment I am going into matches knowing I will score, it is just a case of which foot or my head. The team is playing well, and my job is to get on the end of chances."

Jopling, who began his senior career at Needham Market after being spotted playing junior football in the Metaltec SIL, already holds the Stowmarket record for the number of goals in consecutive matches.

This is seven – six league games. "I feel I can beat my own record," Jopling added. "My head tells me so and I shall expect to net at Newmarket – it is just a case of when."

Stowmarket are fifth in the table, surrounded by big-money clubs who have the wealth to attract the best players in the region.

"In my opinion we are top of our league," explained Jopling. "It is like taking Rangers and Celtic away from Scottish football.

"If you did a similar exercise in the Jewson League, homely Stowmarket would rise to the top."

Jopling has tasted life at clubs with more wherewithal than Stowmarket, having had spells with Diss Town, Lowestoft Town and Witham Town. But he sees the rest of his career being spent at Greens Meadow.

With his unique scoring record and talent for being in the right place at the right time to knock the ball into the net, Jopling could go home on Saturday nights with a bulky brown envelope in his back pocket every week.

"Whatever happens tomorrow I will go home with a smile on my face," he said. "And that means a lot.

"Manager Mel Aldis has assembled a great bunch of lads and we will have a lot of fun – as we do every match.

"It is like spending time with a great bunch of friends. Monday to Friday is the mundane time for work; Saturday afternoons and midweek match nights are for fun.

"The club has invested money on the pitch, and we all get track suits and T-shirts. This means everybody benefits, and this is how it should be. I am happy with that."

Further down the table, Ipswich Wanderers have an attractive home game against Histon Reserves, while Woodbridge Town travel to Soham.

In the First Division, leaders Hadleigh United should have little trouble beating struggling Felixstowe and Walton United. Whitton United also have their sights on a promotion place, and they will be on their way to Norfolk to play Downham Town.

Leiston and Needham Market meet, with the visitors seeking revenge after their 3-0 Suffolk Senior Cup defeat. Ex-Needham keeper Matthew Fenn is now in goal for Leiston.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter