Jamie Godbold believes AFC Sudbury have pulled off a transfer-window masterstroke ahead of Macclesfield Town’s visit in what is of one of the biggest games in the club’s history.
The Yellows announced on Monday that last season’s second top scorer, Luke Callander, had moved to higher-league Bishop’s Stortford after becoming a frustrated figure after finding himself out of the starting line-up since returning from injury.
With James Baker having been successful keeping him out of the side after being moved from defence to attack, his old position, but the player not available for the massive FA Trophy Second Round Proper tie on Saturday, manager Godbold has swiftly moved to bring in ex-Football League striker Danny Crow.
The well-travelled 30-year-old, who includes Norwich City, Peterborough United and Cambridge United among his former clubs, was sacked by AFC’s Ryman League Premier Division rivals Lowestoft Town in November over what they termed ‘a serious breach of contract’.
It was alleged he had played a key role in taking the club’s academy and reserve team players away from the club as part of his agency company ‘Road2Pro’.
Crow, who made his debut from the substitutes’ bench for his new employers in Tuesday’s pleasing return to winning ways — the 3-0 win at home to Metropolitan Police —was unsuccessful in his appeal against the decision to both the Ryman League and The Football Association.
But despite the 15 minutes being his first in competitive football for six months, Godbold is confident he can play a big part in Sudbury’s bid to edge another step closer to Wembley against a side who play two leagues higher.
“It was a no-brainer to sign him once we had lost Cally,” he said.
“It was important we were able to get someone in who was able to play on Saturday, and that ruled quite a lot of people out.
“We are aware he is lacking in a bit of match fitness, but he seems really keen and hungry to start working hard to address that and to start enjoying playing football again.
“Where other players in our squad, perhaps, won’t have played against the likes of them sort of teams, he will have done it week-in week-out.
“So he will know what to expect and will help us, the management and the players, along the way.”
Of the situation involving Lowestoft that led to Crow being sacked, Godbold said: “I think it is complicated and I guess Danny won’t want to speak about it, and the less said about that, certainly from our point of view, the better because we have just brought him in as he is a good player and a great finisher, and that is an area we are lacking in recent weeks.”
Of Saturday’s David-versus-Goliath battle, he said: “I think we get a free hit at it, really. We are not expected to win but we will enjoy it and give it our all.
“I know what we are capable of and if we can put in a performance and some, like we’ve put in tonight, then who knows?
“We are good at home and they will not have played a team this low down, so it will be a cracking game and I hope we can get as many people there as possible.
“It will be huge for Sudbury football club, and hopefully people will turn out to watch it. It is an opportunity for the people who haven’t come here before to come and see us.”
Both Jordan Blackwell and Erkan Okay (knee) are ruled out, along with youngster Alfie Carroll.