Hitchin Town former midfielder Jonny McNamara pays warm tribute to all at Top Field as he joins Biggleswade Town

PUBLISHED: 18:31 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:31 21 May 2018

Jonny McNamara. Picture: Peter Else

Jonny McNamara. Picture: Peter Else

else.p@ntlworld.com

Former Hitchin Town midfielder Jonny McNamara has paid a warm tribute to all at Top Field as he leaves the club for Biggleswade Town.

Jonny McNamara in action against new club Biggleswade Town last season.  Picture: Karyn Haddon.Jonny McNamara in action against new club Biggleswade Town last season. Picture: Karyn Haddon.

The combative former Canary scored 39 goals in four seasons under Mark Burke at Fishponds Road, the last of which saw him help the Canaries to league cup glory, before leaving to join new Waders boss Lee Allinson at Langford Road.

Speaking to CometSport, Mcnamara said: “I’ll miss it a lot, it’s a great club and I’ve had some great times.

“I love the people there and I’ve made some mates for life. They’re hard working and anyone that plays for Hitchin has to have that trait.

“That’s something I’ve always done even if technically I was bad, I always gave 100 per cent.

Jonny McNamara scores against Weymouth - his chosen highlight goal. Photo: Peter ElseJonny McNamara scores against Weymouth - his chosen highlight goal. Photo: Peter Else

“I just need a fresh start, I want to start enjoying my football again and prove some people wrong [by going to Biggleswade]. I’m ready for a new challenge.”

McNamara recalls the 2015-16 season as the highlight of his time at Top Field, where his goals were vital as they reached the play-off semi-finals before losing to Hungerford – including his memorable winning strike in the last 10 minutes of the 1-0 home win against Weymouth that term.

McNamara spoke fondly of his time at Top Field adding: “We all got on like a family, you’d go to training or a game you were with a family.

“We’d have a laugh before the game but as soon as the whistle went we were ready for business and we’d fight for each other.

Jonny McNamara battling. Photo: Peter ElseJonny McNamara battling. Photo: Peter Else

“It’s something I’ll miss a lot.

“It was a great balance between having a team that wanted to work hard for each other and having great technical players

“‘Burkey’ has always let us been very free and express ourselves.”

While McNamara’s combative nature was a big reason why fans loved him, his brushes with authority saw him receive bans for his hard-fought play, which was never dirty.

The 23-year-old reflected on his time adding: “A regret would have been getting suspended for very silly things just before those play-offs.

“You work hard all season for them, those big games are the ones you want to play in and I missed it all. Me being in there might have made a difference to us going up that year [2015-16].”

McNamara’s four years at Hitchin were broken up in 2016 by a brief foray into the National League South with Hemel Hempstead, a decision, with hindsight, the tenacious tackler may have regretted.

He said: “I think at the time it was the right decision to move up and challenge myself but I don’t think the club I went to was the right decision.

“I had many offers and if I had a regret it would have been not choosing a different club or even staying at Hitchin one more year. It was a tough time for me.”

McNamara will be back at Top Field next season, this time in the away dressing room, as Hitchin and Biggleswade face up once again in the new Southern Central Premier League.

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