Signings add key ingredient to AFC
AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold believes his first two signings of the summer show they are intent on making sure their stay in the Ryman League Premier Division is not a fleeting one.
The Yellows’ manager revealed last Thursday that Robert Eagle (Lowestoft Town) and Sam Bantick (Concord Rangers), both attacking creative midfielders who were playing in the Vanarama National League regional divisions last season, had signed for the club ahead of their first ever season at step four.
And he believes the experience they bring, having been playing a level above the Ryman Premier, which AFC were promoted to as champions, will be key.
“We were well aware half of our current side will not have experience of playing at the next level,” said Godbold.
“They are a really good pair of signings for us.
“They both have pedigree at a higher level in the Conference and bring that experience with them.
“They are both good attacking players and I also think they are both characters that will fit into our dressing room really well.”
He added: “We obviously know all about Sam from his spell with us earlier in the season and we know Robert from Lowestoft.”
Former Norwich City, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Grimbsy Town, and most recently, Lowestoft Town midifelder Robert Eagle, 29, is the standout name - having been part of the side who took The Trawlerboys to their highest ever level, before being relegated from the National League North this month.
But AFC fans got a taste of what former Concord Rangers and Brentwood Town promotion-winning midfielder Bantick could do during an eight-game spell at The Wardale Williams Stadium in September and October last year, where he scored five goals.
The good news continued earlier this week with the announcement that 24-goal Luke Callander has become the ninth player from last season’s squad to put pen-to-paper on a new deal.
He joined Marcus Garnham, Sam Clarke, Ben Robinson, Jack Wilkinson, James Baker, Jordan Blackwell, Ryan Henshaw and Jack Newman in committing to the 2016/17 campaign.
But youngsters Ross Bailey and George Clarke have been released.
n Meanwhile, the club’s assistant manager, Andy Reynolds, has announced he is stepping down from his role as manager of the Suffolk FA Under-18s side but will remain with AFC.
n Former Sudbury Town player Christian McClean, 52, has been discharged from hospital with a head injury after being the victim of hit and run in Marks Tey last Thursday.
n AFC Gold winners: Week 3: £100 (140) Mrs R Felton, Butt Rd, Gt Cornard; £10 (185) Mrs G Instance, Laurel Drive, Long Melford; (180) D Webb, Melford Rd, Sudbury. Week 4: 1st £100 (179) Mrs P Webb, Melford Rd, Sudbury; 2nd £10 (250) T Bacon, Sudbury Rd, Lavenham; 3rd £10 (177) P Turner, Dovedale Close, Badwell Ash.