Academy youngster to fill void left by AFC Sudbury Player of the Year

James Baker playing for AFC Sudbury in April 2017 against Needham Market.
James Baker playing for AFC Sudbury in April 2017 against Needham Market.

It was a changing of the guard at AFC Sudbury this week - experienced Player of the Year James Baker announced his departure as 19-year-old Alfie Carroll was promoted to the first team.

It was disappointing news for AFC supporters to hear - that their player of the year was leaving mere weeks after receiving the honour.

The three-time winner of the award announced he would not be at the club next season. He has decided that he wants to continue his career at the same level as last season following AFC's demotion to the Isthmian Division One.

But Alfie Carroll, one of last season's young players who graduated via the club's academy and made nine appearances for the club last term, has signed a two-year contract with AFC and can fill the space left by Baker.

Carroll, a tough tackling full back, has progressed through the academy and into the club's reserve sides and has also captained the development side in the Ryman Under 21 League last season.

He previously played for East Bergholt, Haverhill Rovers and Halstead Town EJA sides before joining the AFC Academy.

Baker was winner of the Player of the Year award in 2013/14, 2014/15 and again for 2016/17 - as well as many other awards since his arrival at the start of the 2010/11 season has decided that he wants to continue his career at the same level as last season.

During his time at the club James was a great target man before being transformed to a central defender, he excelled in both positions and was a great servant to AFC.

He is the eighth in the all time appearance charts with 302 games against his name. His 97 goals puts him in fourth place in the all time scoring list.

All at AFC wish James well with his new club and thank him for his loyal service.