Reynolds: AFC squad will be better than 2015/16 title season

HIGH HOPES: AFC Sudbury assistant manager Andy Reynolds (right) with manager Jamie Godbold
HIGH HOPES: AFC Sudbury assistant manager Andy Reynolds (right) with manager Jamie Godbold

Andy Reynolds is confident AFC Sudbury’s squad at the start of next season will be stronger than the one that won them the Isthmian League Division One North title.

The Yellows have been dealt a blow following the departures of Marcus Garnham, Rob Eagle, Jack Wilkinson and Erkan Okay in the last fortnight.

But despite seeing four experienced players leave the club to seek pastures new, AFC assistant manager Reynolds believes the squad assembled over the summer at The Wardale Williams Stadium will be well-equipped for their return to Division One North.

“We’re really happy with who we’re talking to,” he said, “and we’re confident the squad we start with on August 13th will be better than the one we had the year we won the division (201/16).

“Our soul aim is to be winning more games than we did last year, and we hope next week to give people some real positive news and give everyone a boost and a buzz.

“We fully expected to make changes this year; we couldn’t stand still, and we were prepared to move some players on, and we knew there would be some casualties from relegation too.

“We’re rebuilding this squad to make sure it will be competitive in this division, but we also want to make sure now, after having a glimpse of the Ryman (Isthmian) Premier last season, we are better prepared for it next time.”

Goalkeeper Garnham, last season’s Players’ Player of the Year, full-back Wilkinson and midfielder Okay joined the list of departures at Sudbury after we went to press last week.

Garnham and Wilkinson have both cited the desire to continue playing at Step Three as their reasons for leaving the club, while Eagle has already signed for Leiston.

“From our perspective, we’ve got players who are wanted at Step Three and are being made offers,” Reynolds said. “It maybe shows that last year we did underachieve a little too much, but we wish them all the best.

“Marcus had strong intentions to stay at the level he played at last season.

“His performances gave him the belief back that he could play at that level.

“And it was similar with Jack. He missed a lot of the campaign through injury and he feels like he has unfinished business at that level.”