BOSTIK LEAGUE: Tyler French goes back to Ipswich Town as AFC Sudbury add two more
AFC Sudbury's star defender Tyler French is hoping it is second time lucky at SkyBet Championship outfit Ipswich Town, after being handed a new trial to revive his professional dream.
The 18-year-old defender had been expected to captain The Yellows on Saturday with regular skipper Sam Clarke injured, but he was a notable absentee from Saturday's 1-1 opening day draw in the Bostik League Division North with fellow relegated side Canvey Island.
Today (Monday) saw his whereabouts go public with Ipswich Town Under-23s naming him in their season opener with Crewe at the club's Playford Road training ground as a trialist.
French, who graduated from junior football from Long Melford and then Hadleigh United before transferring to AFC Sudbury's Academy as a 16-year-old, had previously spent three months on trial at Ipswich from October last season, with a decision not forthcoming before The Eagles of Premier League Crystal Palace swooped and held talks at the club on January's Transfer Deadline Day.
With that move unable to go through in time, it was expected to happen in the summer but interest cooled before another Premier League side, 2015/16 champions Leicester City, took him on a one-week trail that was quickly extended into a further week and saw the young AFC player invited onto their academy's European tour.
With The Foxes not following up their interest, French's immediate future had looked to reside with Sudbury, where he is contracted for a further two years, but Ipswich have now taken him back on trial.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's season opener, AFC's first-team manager Jamie Godbold had said: "There is nothing new with Tyler at the minute. But I guess the situation changes every day with him.
"Whilst we are all gutted, in some ways, that he has not been signed up (for Leicester), it has given us a big boost going into the season that one of our best players is still with us."
Meanwhile, the club did decide to strengthen their squad late on heading into Saturday's opening game, with two new players.
Louis Blake, a tall lean striker, signed on Friday having previously been with AFC Croydon Athletic, Chipstead and Banstead Athletic.
Midfielder Jeremiah Kamanzi, a former youth player at Brentford who he joined AFC's divisional rivals Maldon & Tiptree from ahead of last season where he went on to reach the Division One North play-offs with, also signed in time to come off the bench for his debut.
It takes Jamie Godbold's list of new additions at the club since relegation from the Isthmian League's top division last season to 10, with 12 having left the club.
With Kamanzi's arrival, it now means AFC have signed four of last season's play-off semi-final losers from Maldon & Tiptree, with Tuesday's trip to the Jammers (7.45pm) having an interesting sub-plot.
* You can follow live updates from Tuesday's Bostik League football and Thurlow Nunn League football games involving local sides AFC Sudbury (@russclaydon), Mildenhall Town (@liamapicella), Needham Market (@lalmoss20) and Haverhill Borough (@HannahDolman1) via Twitter before reading match reaction in Thursday's and Friday's print editions of the Bury Free Press, Haverhill Echo and Newmarket Journal.