Laws praises players after ‘wonderful season’ at AFC

BREAKING THROUGH: Joe Wright (left), pictured playing for AFC Sudbury Reserves in their 3-0 defeat at newly crowned Thurlow Nunn League First Division champions Stowmarket Town on Saturday, made seven appearances for the Yellows first team in the Ryman League Premier Division this season
BREAKING THROUGH: Joe Wright (left), pictured playing for AFC Sudbury Reserves in their 3-0 defeat at newly crowned Thurlow Nunn League First Division champions Stowmarket Town on Saturday, made seven appearances for the Yellows first team in the Ryman League Premier Division this season

Danny Laws anticipates there will be ‘two or three’ players from the AFC Sudbury Academy who will sign first-team contracts this summer.

Laws, the director of football and youth development at AFC, says it has been ‘a wonderful season’ for the club’s academy, with plenty of silverware having been won during the campaign.

And with The Yellows’ first team already beginning to rebuild ahead of their return to Ryman League Division One North next season, Laws expects several players from the club’s academy to be offered deals by senior manager Jamie Godbold.

“We’ve had a wonderful season,” he said. “Obviously the main highlight to date was reaching the second round proper of the FA Youth Cup.

“We’ve also won our under-18s league and the boys have also competed really well in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.

“We’re sitting fourth from bottom, but speaking to people like Rick Andrews (Stowmarket Town manager), he knows how competitive we are. Obviously we want to try and get as many of our boys playing in the first team, and the likes of Tyler French, Ollie Dunlop, Joe Wright and Alfie Carroll have established themselves in there.

“We’ve had many players go into the first team and Jamie, the manager, will be offering contracts to two or three of them for next season.”

Ollie Dunlop struck twice, while goals also from Ollie Peters and Mekhi McKenzie help AFC Sudbury Under-18s beat Walsham-le-Willows 4-1 on Tuesday night, and progress to the final of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cup.

The Under-18s won the Thurlow Nunn Youth League South Division this season and could complete a treble, as they also take on Walsham in the Suffolk FA Boys Under-18 Midweek Cup on May 15.

“We’ve got our induction evening at the club on Thursday night and we’ll be recruiting around 20 new players,” Laws said.

“We’ve got a high calibre of players coming in from all over, some are based in Ipswich and Colchester, some are local boys from Bury St Edmunds, and some are more from south Essex way, from Chelmsford and Witham.

“We’re fully established now. We’ve put a team in the Ryman League’s under-21s division this season and we need a point from our last game to finish as runners-up.”

n AFC Sudbury have been chosen as one of the alternative venues which will be used to stage Suffolk FA county cup finals should Colchester United qualify for the League Two play-offs.

Seven finals are scheduled to take place at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, starting from Sunday, May 7 through to Monday, May 15.

However, the finals have always been subject to the U’s not being involved in the end-of-season play-offs.

Suffolk FA county cups competitions manager Adrian Moye said: “With Colchester entering their final match of the season, at home to Yeovil on Saturday, with a chance of still reaching the play-offs, we have arranged alternative venues in the event that they do qualify.”

AFC would host the finals of the Sunday Cup, between Mellis and AFC Chelmondiston, on Sunday, May 7 (2.30pm), the Premier Cup, between Needham Market and Lowestoft Town, on Monday, May 8 (7.30pm), and the Primary Cup, between AFC YourShirts and Bures United, on Wednesday, May 10 (7.30pm).

Sudbury Under-18s’ Midweek Cup final would take place at Mildenhall Town.