AFC Sudbury boss relishes chance to integrate new signings

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After bringing in two players with Football League club pedigree, Jamie Godbold says having a free week to work with his AFC Sudbury players on the training pitch has come at just the right time.

AFC have had an intense start to their first season in the Ryman League Premier Division, with last Saturday’s trip to Dulwich Hamlet their 20th game in all competitions.

And after seeing his side beaten 2-0 at the weekend, and subsequently dropping into the bottom half of the table for the first time this season, AFC manager Godbold says having the rarity of no midweek game to bed in his two new recruits, as well as working with his squad, has been just what they needed.

“I think it’s our second Tuesday off since the start of the season,” he said. “It’s been pretty relentless. It has given us a real opportunity to get on the training ground this week without the intensity of a game around us.

“We love playing the games, but with me being a coach and Andy (Reynolds) being a coach by trade, it’s given us a better chance to get our messages across and work on things without being in a high pressure situation of a game.”

AFC enjoyed a flying start to life at Step Three and at one point sat fourth in the table, but injury problems and the continued busy schedule has caught up with them in recent weeks.

With the departures of Ben Robinson (Cambridge City) and Aaron Greene (Bishop’s Stortford) last week, Godbold gave his squad a much-needed boost in numbers with a double signing before the trip to Dulwich.

Attacking duo Aidan Austin and Dylan Williams have both joined the club and made their debuts in the defeat in South London at the weekend.

Austin spent two years on contract at Sky Bet Championship side Nottingham Forest before being released at the end of last season, with the 19-year-old having previously appeared on the bench for AFC back in November 2013.

Attacking midfielder Williams, also 19, is on a three-month loan from League Two outfit Cambridge United, who he made his debut for towards the end of last season, and was promoted into Godbold’s starting line-up on Saturday after Craig Parker pulled out injured in the warm-up.

“Dylan was probably our best player on the day,” the AFC boss said of the youngster who has had a taste of Ryman League football before, having had a loan spell at Soham last season.

Sudbury host Ryman League Division One North outfit Bowers & Pitsea in the first round qualifying of The Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday (3pm), before returning to league action with a trip to Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Jack Newman and Luke Callander are both injury doubts for this weekend with Parker, while Adam Tann is serving a one-game suspension.