AFC Sudbury youngster on trial with Ipswich Town
Promising AFC Sudbury defender Tyler French is hoping to earn a dream professional move after going on trial with Ipswich Town.
The 17-year-old, who signed a three-year deal with Ryman League Premier Division outfit Sudbury only last month, was due to play in the Tractor Boys’ Under-23s Development League side against Hull City at Town’s Playford Road training ground this afternoon (October 10, 1pm).
It followed an appearance in the east Suffolk club’s under-18s side at the weekend.
French, who joined the club as a forward from Hadleigh United after graduating from Long Melford’s youth set-up now plays centre-back.
He impressed at left-back for 90 minutes in AFC’s 5-4 pre-season friendly win over an Ipswich Town XI at the start of August and was named the AFC Sudbury Academy Players’ Player of The Year at the club’s 2015-16 end-of-season awards evening.
French, who made three appearances for the first-team at the back end of last season and has featured for Jamie Godbold’s side from the bench three times so far this campaign, the last against former Ipswich player Jimmy Bullard’s Leatherhead on October 1.
Speaking about the Long Melford-based youngster signing his first contract with the club last month, AFC manager Godbold said: “Danny Laws (AFC Sudbury Academy’s director of football and youth development) speaks extremely highly of him.
“Trying to measure potential is a really difficult thing to do but we can see him being another ever-present of the team. “Tyler himself wanted to commit long term to the club and I’m really pleased.”
He added of French, who joined Sudbury at the end of last season: “Tyler’s made massive strides since he’s come here.
“He came to the academy as a centre forward and he’s turned into a centre-half now.
“He’s got lots of potential and now having him here long term takes the pressure off him and us as well.
“Hopefully by year three he has had a good number of games at this level and if the club has the ambition to go up we’ll take him there with us.”
Sudbury’s Premier Division neighbours Needham Market have seen midfielder Max Booth also go on trial at Ipswich Town last week but the youngster was not named in this afternoon’s youthful-looking Under-23s side.
* AFC Sudbury host Grays Athletic on Tuesday in the Ryman League Premier Division, follow @liamapicella for live updates on Twitter.