Jay Hubbard has taken a step back to go forward in his football career.
The towering striker is back at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Woodbridge Town, who he left in the summer to join Needham Market.
Hubbard made an impressive start to the season with five goals in four games for Danny Laws’ Ryman League Division One North side.
So impressive that his performances caught the eye of Blue Square Bet South side Billericay Town, who made an unsuccessful bid to sign Hubbard.
Most players would jump at the chance to sign for a side two steps higher on the non-League Pyramid, but Hubbard decided to stay put at Needham.
He revealed: “They put a seven-day approach in to Needham Market.
“They wanted to sign me on the Saturday and to play on the Bank Holiday Monday against AFC Hornchurch.
“I turned it down because I thought things were moving too fast.
“I did some research and they had one striker suspended and one injured and besides I was enjoying it at Needham.
“I wanted to stay and develop myself as a player at Needham, and thought that if Billericay saw something they wanted then they would come in for me again.”
But after finding it difficult to maintain his early season form and suffering a loss of confidence, Hubbard has returned to play for Woodbridge.
Hubbard, who joined the Woodpeckers in October 2010 and is back at Notcutts Park under the terms of a dual registration, views it as a temporary move.
The 25-year-old said: “I would like to think once I get my confidence back I will be a big threat again at Ryman League level.
“I approached Danny Laws because I had been sat on the bench for a while and because I believe it is a confidence issue.
“I felt I was not going to get my confidence back sitting on the bench – I needed game time.
“Hopefully I can start hitting the net a few times, although I have never been a prolific goalscorer – I am more used to making chances for the other players in the team.”
Irrespective of what happens over the next few months, Hubbard could end the season playing in both America and Brazil.
Hubbard, who is a Royal Engineer fitter with the Army, is captain of his Corps team, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a trip to San Diego and Los Angeles next May and June.
And, assuming the dates don’t clash, he is hoping to represent the Army in the Armed Forces World Cup, which is taking place in Brazil in the summer.
After playing for the full Army side in 2010/11, Hubbard spent last season as part of the under-23 development squad, where he impressed, before returning to the full squad this season.
Ironically, last season he also played for Combined Services – made up of the Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.
“We play around seven matches a season for the Army side plus regimental games.
“My availability for the full Army side has been sketchy this season because I have been busy at work, meaning I have not played as much as I would like to,” he said.
Hubbard did recently play – and score – for the Army as they beat Ryman Premier Division side Metropolitan Police 6-3.