Long Melford have pulled off a major transfer coup ahead of the new season by signing former Ipswich Town midfielder Jamie Griffiths.
Manager Jules Mumford believes the 22-year-old former Great Cornard schoolboy, who made one substitute cup appearance at Portman Road in 2010 after coming through the youth ranks, will help raise the level of everyone at the club.
The Villagers’ boss works with Griffiths at the Delphi factory in Sudbury and managed to convince him to play in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division after his shift patterns saw him take a year out of the game with midweek commitments preventing a move to AFC Sudbury.
And it took little time for Griffiths, who made nine appearance in a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle in 2011/12, to show his quality at Stoneylands as he scored what Mumford described as a ‘great goal’ from the halfway line in their 5-0 friendly home win over Barnston last Tuesday, one of a personal brace on the night.
“It is brilliant for the club having someone like Jamie on board,” said Mumford of the attacking midfielder, who was at Kettering Town before a trial period with AFC Sudbury last summer. “Hopefully his professionalism will rub off on a few boys.
“I spoke to the lads about it and everyone has been stepping up their game.”
With less midweek games in the First Division, Griffiths is able to commit to the club with a higher level not fitting in with his work currently.
His good friend Dan Swain, a full-back or midfielder who played at AFC Sudbury making 50 first-team appearances, has also joined Melford after a year out, while Ashley Skeggs and Joe Harvey have resigned.
The Villagers lost Saturday’s friendly at FC Clacton 3-0 ahead of hosting Suffolk and Ipswich League side Felixstowe and Harpers United on Saturday (3pm) in their last warm-up match before the new season.
Hadleigh United’s search for a striker has intensified after Tesfaye Bramble informed the club of his decision to retire.
The 33-year-old former Southend United player has said he needs to concentrate on things away from football, leaving just Ben Deacon and youngster Sam Sharp as recognised frontmen.
Assistant manager Alan Dilloway said: “It had been on the cards, but we were hoping we had convinced him to continue. Other things have taken over in his life he has to prioritise.”
Jorrell Hurd, a 31-year-old attacking midfielder who has been out of the game for several years, has been signed after impressing in pre-season. Hadleigh’s build-up to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at home to a Leyton Orient Under-21s side on Saturday.
Former Hadleigh left-winger Danny Allen has been training with the club and set up Duane Wright for the opener after 50 minutes, before having to leave the field with a thigh strain.
Hadleigh host Ryman League Division One North side Needham Market on Saturday in the annual Hadleigh Charity Cup (3pm), before concluding their warm-up games with a trip to Thurlow Nunn League First Division side Stowmarket Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Halstead Town’s pre-season concludes on Saturday with a trip to the south coast to face Sussex County Football League side Eastbourne United (2pm).
Cornard United host Premier Division side Wivenhoe Town tonight (7.45pm) before their last friendly sees them host Springfield on Tuesday (7.45pm).