danny determined to lead AFC to title joy

FOOTBALL - Sudbury AFC v Needham Market

Pictured: Danny Cunningham (NM) and Lawrence Yiga (S) ANL-140826-071623009
FOOTBALL - Sudbury AFC v Needham Market Pictured: Danny Cunningham (NM) and Lawrence Yiga (S) ANL-140826-071623009

Danny Cunningham is excited to be back at AFC Sudbury and is aiming to help get them over the line in their push for the league title.

The 28-year-old midfielder made his second debut for the Yellows at the weekend, as he came off the bench to score a free-kick in their 5-1 win over Great Wakering Rovers.

Cunningham scored nine goals in 38 appearances during his first spell at AFC as a teenager between 2006 and 2007, before going on to play for the likes of Leiston, Bury Town, Lowestoft Town and Needham Market in recent years.

After leaving Ryman League Premier Division side Leiston to drop down a level and play for Division One North title chasers Sudbury, Cunningham insists he has not just come back to the club to win the league.

“I’m buzzing to be a part of it at Sudbury,” he said. “I’m not just here to go up though. I want to help the young boys through, and some possibly into the professional game.

“At Leiston, me and the club were not seeing eye to eye so I was planning to take some time out from the game.

“But ‘Godders’ (Jamie Godbold) gave me a call and asked me if I’d join Sudbury and I knew it was time for a change. I’m buzzing to be playing again and I’ve got my love of football back. Now I’ve got to keep my head down and play football.”

Ahead of a trip to 13th place Aveley tomorrow (3pm), table-topping Sudbury are nine points clear at the top of the Division One North table.

A point in Essex this weekend would guarantee Godbold’s side a place in the end of season play-offs, while 13 points from their final seven games will secure them the league title and promotion to the Ryman League’s top flight for the first time in the club’s history.

A Jordan Blackwell brace, and goals from Luke Callander, Liam Wales and the returning Cunningham, helped AFC rack up their 29th league win of the season.

Since losing 4-0 at home to Thurrock at the end of January, Sudbury have been in relentless form with seven wins and a draw from their next eight games.

Cunningham is hopeful AFC can continue that run over the next few weeks as the club look to win their first league title since the 2004-05 season.

“My main aim is to make sure the title comes to AFC Sudbury,” he said. “I want to help them get over the finishing line.

“The club is ready to go up, all the facilities are here, and the only direction I can see them going is up.

“To score in my first game back was nice and I’ve got to thank the manager and everyone else at the club who have made me feel very welcome.”

Sudbury assistant manager Andy Reynolds has backed Cunningham to help improve the younger players in his squad, saying: “We’re really pleased to have Danny here because he can help the likes of George Clarke, Joe Maybanks and Liam Wales.

“He can help them develop, which will help us, and he also offers something we haven’t got in the group.

“In the position he plays we haven’t got wide players who have lots of seasons worth of experience under their belt at this level.

“He brings that with him here and also his dead ball delivery is second to none.”