Batch to trust youngsters to cover injuries

INJURED: Ryan Henshaw faces up to eight weeks out
INJURED: Ryan Henshaw faces up to eight weeks out

AFC Sudbury boss David Batch will not be rushing into the transfer market although injuries are set to rob him of four players.

Skipper Sam Clarke is scheduled to be out for four weeks and last season’s manager’s and players’ player-of-the-year Ryan Henshaw five to eight weeks, both after suffering broken bones in their left hands.

Batch is also awaiting news on striker Jake Reed (foot) and midfielder Kris Newby (knee) after the pair limped off against Redbridge on Tuesday, although the latter returned to net a dramatic winner.

With defensive midfielder Ryan Maxwell currently out for another 10 days with a hamstring injury, which will cover his suspension from his Needham Market dismissal, and defender Craig Pope beginning his three-game ban for a straight red in the same game after Saturday’s return to league action at Maldon and Tiptree, Batch is suddenly short of senior players.

But after finishing Tuesday’s 3-2 extra-time FA Cup replay win over the Motormen with 17-year-old Jordan Blackwell and 18-year-old Scott Kemp up front, he is happy to give his young guns a chance to shine.

“We probably will have to rely on the youngsters and that is why they are here as this is what happens at a football club,” he said. “We went through a spell last season in March when we were in a really good position just outside the play-offs and got a whole host of injuries to senior players and had nothing else below to bring in.

“But now we have a bit more depth.”

Asked if he is looking 
to bring a senior player in, 
he said: “It is something 
we will look at, I am not 
ruling it out but we will have to see.

“We are not looking to bring in anyone yet.”

Defender Henshaw was due to have an operation on his hand yesterday after a freak accident in the gym on Tuesday saw a dumbbell dropped on it.

Midfielder Clarke’s injury, breaking two bones, came in the Needham match, though the extent of it was not realised at the time.

AFC’s replay win in the FA Cup on Tuesday, to bag £1,925 of prize money, has set up a home tie with Essex Senior League side FC Romania a week Saturday (3pm), but Batch is not getting carried away with the prospect of a cup run.

“One game is a start 
and let’s see what happens next,” said the Yellows’ boss ahead of returning to league action at seventh-placed 
Maldon and Tiptree on 
Saturday (3pm) and Great Wakering Rovers on Tuesday (7.45pm).