Trio of trialists fight for just one position

FOOTBALL - Sudbury AFC Team Pictures - Stock''Pictured: Manager Nicky Smith and new signing Richard Howell
FOOTBALL - Sudbury AFC Team Pictures - Stock''Pictured: Manager Nicky Smith and new signing Richard Howell

NICKY Smith has admitted it is likely three trialists at AFC Sudbury are fighting it out for one remaining place in his promotion-hunting squad.

With Richard Howell, Chris Sullivan and Danny Gay, all having a wealth of higher-level experience, added to the team over the summer it now seems the manager’s budget will allow for one more.

Smith, whose side beat Essex outfit Witham Town 1-0 on their travels in their second pre-season friendly on Saturday, said only sending a few players out on loan would give him the leeway to add more than one new face to his squad. But he will not add someone for the sake of it, stating they have to be able to play a big part in their Ryman League Division One North campaign.

“Obviously I want to see them play against opposition higher than us and if they can blend in with the squad and do the right things we can try and do a deal. But they have to be better than the players we have already got,” he said.

Currently on trial with the Yellows are Bildeston Rangers’ young prolific striker David Lorimer, attacking player or midfielder Joby Thorogood, who has Ryman Premier experience but was playing in Australia last season, and ex-Welsh Premier League defender Gary Bansor, who played for Camarthen Town and Port Talbot Town.

And they have had plenty of chance to impress in the wins over Long Melford and Witham Town, with AFC still missing star sriker James Baker, who is away on holiday.

But their pre-season campaign is set to step up with games to come at Bury Town (August 5) and Lowestoft Town (August 13), following trips to Ridgeons League outfits Fakenham Town (Saturday 3pm), Halstead Town (next Friday 7.45pm) and FC Clacton (August 2). In between facing the Ryman League Premier Division clubs, AFC will travel to Felixstowe & Walton United (August 9).

Smith has also revealed he is set to start the new season with a new formation after working on blending his players into a 3-5-2 set-up in the first two pre-season games, something he did briefly try out at the back end of last season.

He said: “We will play 3-5-2 but we are able to change.

“We have that much pace we will cause a lot of problems for defenders and when we retain the ball it is up to the opposition to chase us.”

Meanwhile, AFC fans will not have to wait long into the new campaign for a Suffolk derby, with a trip to Needham Market on August 29, with the return leg at the MEL Group Stadium on January 2. The Yellows travelling to league new boys Soham Town Rangers on Boxing Day.