AFC’s new keeper’s promotion ambition

FOOTBALL - Sudbury AFC Team Pictures - Stock''Pictured: Manager Nicky Smith and new signing goalkeeper Danny Gay
FOOTBALL - Sudbury AFC Team Pictures - Stock''Pictured: Manager Nicky Smith and new signing goalkeeper Danny Gay

AFC Sudbury’s new man between the sticks, Danny Gay, has said he has chosen the club to fulfil his promotion ambitions.

The ex-Southend United goalkeeper, who is 28 next month, has become the club’s third signing of the summer, following Richard Howell and Chris Sullivan – all of whom have played at a higher level.

And Gay has said he turned down other offers to join AFC, after being released by Needam Market at the end of his contract after a new financial package could not be agreed, as everything is “geared to promotion”.

“The football club wanted to go forward when I spoke to them,” said Gay, who made his first appearance for the club in the first pre-season friendly at Long Melford on Tuesday.

“The facilities at Sudbury are outstanding and the pitch is immaculate and the manager and his assistant are really excited about the coming season and that was a major reason why I decided to join.”

Gay, who has spent the last 18 months with the Marketmen, including helping them to promotion to the Ryman League, added that having been not offered terms that were equal to what he was earning previously at Needham, it was Sudbury who went the extra mile for his signature.

“I was earning very good money at Needham last season and I felt I deserved that from where I had been and how I had played and Sudbury have pushed the boat out to get me in, with me being based in King’s Lynn, and I appreciate that,” he said.

But the King’s Lynn PE cover teacher said finances were far from the only pull with signing for AFC, who he believes have a real chance of promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division, to join neighbours Bury Town.

“I think everything is geared up for promotion,” said Gay, who consulted fellow AFC players Robbie Martin, James Baker and Dave Wareham, who he has all played with and alongside side in the Conference, before joining.

Manager Nicky Smith this week described Gay’s arrival, following senior keeper Nicky Eyre leaving the club before the end of last season over a non-payment for a game he couldn’t be available for, as “a massive singing”.

n AFC Sudbury will begin their Ryman League Division One North campaign on August 20 with a trip to Redbridge before home fixtures against Ilford (August 23) and Tilbury (August 27) after the fixtures were released this week.