Heath backs Batch to help him into Football League

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Goalkeeper Dan Heath made the switch from Wroxham to AFC Sudbury without playing as he believes David Batch can take him to the next level.

The 23-year-old former Hadleigh United shot stopper did not kick a ball for fellow Ryman League Division One North side Wroxham after an end-of-season move from the Brettsiders, instead following departing manager Batch straight to AFC Sudbury.

And after tasting his first action in an AFC shirt as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s 2-0 home defeat to Ryman Premier outfit Lowestoft Town, he revealed he believes Batch can help him secure a full-time career in the game to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and Cambridge United legend Rodney Slack.

He said: “Batchy made a call at the end of the season and I had a couple of options on the table, but he made a massive effort to get me to sign and I really appreciated that.

“The way he sold the club to me and the professional way it was run, I really thought he was someone who could help move my career forward.

“I want to keep going higher and higher and he is aware of that and he is someone who can help me do that.

“The travelling is all part and parcel of it, but it is a long way from Newmarket to Wroxham.

“A week later he gave me a call and said he had gone to Sudbury and he would like to take me with him and it is only half-an-hour from where I live, so it couldn’t be better and it is a fantastic club.”

Heath, who had a loan spell at Ryman Premier Leiston last January, is set to fight it out with fellow young goalkeeper Alex Archer, who made 32 appearances last season, for the number one jersey.

“My ambition this year is to be the best goalkeeper in the Ryman League whether that is Division One or the Premier, that is my goal and I will do everything to make that happen,” he said.

“Competition is something you expect as you go up the football ladder, but I am very confident in my own abilities and that the gaffer was keen enough to bring me here.

“It will be interesting how it pans out to be honest.

“Neither one of us are not going to not want to play and I think when the gaffer makes the call about who is going to be number one the other person may have a decision about what they want to do.

“Me and Alex get on well and pushing each other forward, which is what it is all about. But I am very confident come August 10 I will have the number one shirt.”

As well as starting new signings Ben Lewis, Michael Brothers, Josh Carus, Ben Thompson and Payton Swatman against Lowestoft, two as-yet unnamed French trialists also started at left-back and centre-back.

Trialist Jamie Griffiths played just off Thompson in a 3-5-2 formation with Swatman almost finishing off a sweeping first-half move with his diving header going over.

Both Lowestoft goals came from crosses in the second half, from Robert Eagle after 51 minutes and Lee Smith after 82, after AFC, who did not muster a shot on goal in the second period, made wholesale substitutions, with eight new players coming on for the restart.