New AFC Sudbury signing Jake Reed is determined to recreate his Lowestoft Town promotion magic with a glut of goals at King’s Marsh.
The 23-year-old former Dagenham and Redbridge striker was the key addition David Batch was tying up towards the end of last week, before naming the six others he had already got to agree deals.
Reed, who was the Trawler Boys’ top scorer with 20 goals as they claimed promotion to Conference North, will be joined by Witham Town’s Ryman One North play-off promotion winner Kris Newby — though, with current unavailability problems in mid-week, East Thurrock have claimed he is in their squad— and Waltham Abbey’s 15-goal forward Aryton Coley as exciting new frontline options.
Much-travelled former Northern Ireland Under-21 international midfielder Ryan Maxwell, promising ex-Wroxham 17-year-old Jack Guyton and experienced defenders Craig Pope (Grays Athletic) and Lawrence Yiga (Ware) make up the seven.
And after he claimed a broken promise saw him seek a move away from Crown Meadow, Reed hopes to help AFC fufil their potential after he passed up Conference football to drop a league lower than he shone in last season.
“I am aiming for promotion like last year and I want to get Sudbury into the same league as Lowestoft,” he said. “I think that is definitely achievable looking at how they did last year.
“Hopefully I can bang in more than 20 goals in that league.”
The Lowestoft-based player said the club’s facilities were a big factor which saw him turn down over suitors.
“There were a few teams, but all in all Sudbury were the ones that interested me most,” said the poacher — whose 20 league goals, including one in the play-off final, came despite only joining Lowestoft in October after a disappointing 31-game (one goal) two-year spell in League Two. “Sudbury is a decent club and really feels like it is a club on the up.
“All the ground is owned by the club and things like that made me want to go there.”
Batch, who has signed Reed up to a season-long contract along with Pope, 30-year-old Maxwell and Newby, while agreeing non-contract terms with the other signings, oversaw the first pre-season training session of his new-look squad last night.
And he said Reed’s capture can only improve the side.
“Goals win games and with him and Baker, on paper, we have a few goals there,” he said. “I think there were a lot of clubs interested, but the key thing with Jake is honesty and we have been very open with what we have done.”
But striker Jamie Forshaw is looking to move, with AFC set to receive a fee, having offered the under-24 player equal terms to stay.
Batch hailed Maxwell, who turned 30 on Monday and can play central midfield or right-back, as ‘a winner’.
The much-travelled player started out at Tottenham Hotspur with brief spells at Reading and in Scotland, as well as a host of non-League sides, starting last season as a player/coach at Grays Athletic before a March switch to play-off losers Heybridge Swifts.
Newby, who can operate on either flank or up front was the equal fourth top goalscorer in Ryman One North last season with 22 goals.
Batch said he signed him knowing there was an unresolved issue with him working in Winchester and East Thurrock would need to pay compensation to take him.
A centre-back or right-back, 31-year-old Pope was the captain at Grays last season and has played Conference football for Barnet, Cambridge City and Histon.
Batch said Yiga, a 6ft 4in converted centre-half, had an ‘excellent range of passing’, while he hopes he can take ‘strong, quick’ forward Coley’s game to another level and is excited about working with versatile teenager Guyton.
* Supporters are being asked to sign up to a pre-season tidy up of the ground through next weekend. For more information, contact supporter’s club chairman John Crosbie on 07889979688.
* AFC’s friendly at King’s Lynn Town on July 26 has been moved to a 1pm kick-off.
A coach will be going to the game for £10 — for details, call Pat Arbon on 01787 373316.
* The week seven winners of the AFC Sudbury Gold fundraiser are: £100 (233) Miss M Andrews, Constable Road, Sudbury; £10 (240) A Paxton, Jubilee Road, Sudbury; £10 (178) Mrs R Brickwood, Melford Road, Sudbury.