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Former Ipswich Town defender Kyle Hammond arrives at Leiston with glowing reference from Kevin Horlock

Kyle Hammond has signed for Leiston

Kyle Hammond has signed for Leiston

Archant

New Leiston signing Kyle Hammond has arrived at Victory with a glowing reference, after completing his move from Maldon & Tiptree.

The former Ipswich Town right-back has signed a two-year deal with the Blues, havig featured heavily in the Jammers’ run to the Ryman North play-offs last season.

Now a Ryman Premier player, Hammond arrives at the coastal club having received a glowing reference from former Ipswich midfielder, and now Maldon manager, Kevin Horlock

“I went and watched Maldon & Tiptree in the semi-final (of the play-offs) and after the game I asked Kevin what his situation was and he told me he should be playing higher than our level (Conference North/South),” said Driver.

“I asked if he minded me talking to him and Kevin encouraged me to get in there quickly as there were quite a number of teams vying for his signature.

“He was full-time at Colchester and would train with their under-23s during the week and play for Maldon at the weekend.”

Hammond played in the same youth team at Ipswich as Byron Lawrence who, after revitalising his career at Leiston, moved to the Blues’ Ryman Premier rivals, Billericay Town towards the end of last season.

“Kyle is a good signing for us going forward and possesses the same desire as Byron did when he joined,” Driver explained.

“We have beaten many teams to his signature and it represents a major coup for us.”

Ipswich-born Hammond, a former Westbourne High School pupil was released by Mick McCarthy at the end of the 2015-16 season, having failed to make a senior appearance – his time at Portman Road being blighted by two serious knee injuries.

“He did his cruciate knee ligaments and I remember, at that time, he was the next big thing, like Byron (Lawrence) people were ranting and raving about him but his career never got off the ground.”

Driver added: “He is an attacking right-back and when I asked him why he signed for Leiston, he said it was because he feels he can push on with us.”

Meanwhile, Maldon striker Sam Newson has left the club, due to work commitments.

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