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AFC are planning ahead

NEW SIGNING: Jack Wilkinson celebrates one of his eight Haverhill Rovers league goals this season with Andy Ofosu against Wivenhoe Town in November

NEW SIGNING: Jack Wilkinson celebrates one of his eight Haverhill Rovers league goals this season with Andy Ofosu against Wivenhoe Town in November

They may be in the heat of a promotion push, but David Batch underlined his ambition to recruit for the long-term at AFC Sudbury this week.

Former Ipswich Town left-sided utility player Jack Wilkinson signed from Haverhill Rovers for a small undisclosed fee as the Yellows’ boss steps up his pursuit of targets for next season.

The 23-year-old, who was one of a number released from Needham Market before going on to star for Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division — initially on loan — is said to be exactly the type of player AFC are in the market for.

“He has been on our radar ever since I have been here,” said Batch, who also has seven-day approaches in for several other up-and-coming players. “He fits the profile we have created in terms of looking forward.

“He is flexible, so is able to play in two or three different positions.

“He is athletic enough, young enough and he is really ambitious and keen to play and do better.

“We are pleased to bring him into our squad at a time when we have a number of games, which is useful.”

Wilkinson has started all 27 of Haverhill’s league games this season, scoring eight times as a winger or forward.

The left-footer, who also had a spell at Hadleigh United — his home-town club, who tried to re-sign him at the start of the season — was in line to make his bow at The MEL Group Stadium against Whitham Town last night, after that match was moved from tonight.

Batch said it would allow him the option of selecting the same side when Chatham Town (17th) visit on Saturday (3pm), after AFC saw last Saturday’s game at second-bottom Ware postponed, which will now be played next Thursday (7.45pm).

Sandwiched between those games will be a home clash with Harlow Town (third) on Tuesday (7.45pm), in what will be a big test of AFC’s top-five credentials.

Batch, who would have selected goalkeeper Dan Heath for his first competitive game on Saturday after recalling him from his Stanway Rovers loan, before Alex Archer recovered from injury ahead of last night, is not setting any targets though, other than playing well in each game.

While Wilkinson’s transfer required a fee, AFC also received a similar one for out-of-favour defender Ben Lewis, who has moved to Gorleston.

 

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