AFC planning to make do at right-back
Anthony Furlonge’s departure from AFC Sudbury has left Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds without a recognised right-back — but they will not be rushing out to get one.
Instead, the management team have revealed they are happy to make do with what they have already got in the building, with teenage midfielder Jack Newman filling in at full-back in Saturday’s return to winning ways in the league.
With Ben Robinson deemed too attacking for AFC at the higher level, and being allowed to move on to Southern League Premier Division outfit Cambridge City last month, Furlonge, who had initially joined on a dual registration from Bishop’s Stortford, was signed permanently as a replacement.
But assistant manager Andy Reynolds said the former Stevenage player, who had only made seven appearances across his two spells from early September, saw his departure dictated by personal circumstances.
“Ant has had some issues going on in his personal life which means the journey and commitment does not suit his personal circumstances at this time,” he said.
But Reynolds said it did not mean they were now in the market for a right-back.
“We are quite comfortable with the players in the squad who can do a job for us and those coming through the academy,” he said.
“We knew Jack (Newman) can play that role, although we know that is not his best position.
“Players like Tanny (Adam Tann) can play there and Jordan Blackwell can do a job there as well as Tyler French.
“When we know the opposition we can make the decision that best suits the game, but we are hoping someone can come in and nail that down as their own.
“We also know we can go to a back three with this squad, if needed, so there is flexibility there.”
After getting back on track in the league with a 3-1 home success over Staines Town, AFC’s attention now turns to cup competitions with lower-league Romford visiting in The Buildbase FA Trophy second round qualifying this Saturday (3pm) before a tasty Suffolk derby at divisional rivals Needham Market in The Suffolk FA Premier Cup quarter-final on Tuesday (7.45pm).
And cup competitions are very much a priority for AFC this season.
“Sudbury used to be expected to reach finals and for whatever reason that has stopped,” said Reynolds.
“We feel happy we are prepared for the Ryman Premier and we need to start competing in cup competitions more than we have.
“The county cup is a nuisance for some with trying to avoid players getting injured, but our mentality is we want to start reaching the latter stages of competitions and with this one the prize is where you get to play the final (Ipswich Town) and is a great thing to look forward to.”
With the exception of young defender Stefano Mallardo, who has been sent out to Ryman One North Heybridge Swifts on a five-week loan to get first-team football, Godbold and Reynolds are set to have the luxury of a full squad to chose from for the first time this season.