AFC Sudbury - first three signings of Batch era

NEW SIGNING: Dan Heath, pictured playing for Hadleigh United,  has joined Matty Daniels in moving from Wroxham to his manager's new club AFC Sudbury
NEW SIGNING: Dan Heath, pictured playing for Hadleigh United, has joined Matty Daniels in moving from Wroxham to his manager's new club AFC Sudbury

Michael Brothers has returned to AFC Sudbury, joining fellow exciting prospects Dan Heath and Matty Daniels as David Batch’s first signings.

And the new Yellows boss believes the trio demonstrate the mix of youth and experience he is looking to blend together into a winning formula.

Goalkeeper Heath, with Hadleigh United last term but released from a contract at Batch’s old club Wroxham without playing a game, has joined fellow 22-year-old versatile midfielder or striker Daniels, also from Wroxham, in putting pen-to-paper alongside 28-year-old utility man Brothers.

The latter, who can play on either flank as a wide player or up front, has chosen to drop down a league from Leiston to return to where he made 25 appearances during 2006/07.

“I think what we have got is clearly talent and potential,” said Batch.

“Dan Heath has made a good impression locally and been awarded the best player in Suffolk and Matty Daniels is someone who I know what he is about and if there was an award in Norfolk he would have won it.

“We have also brought experience, that is what Brothers brings, so we have got a nice balance.”

He added: “Matty Daniels is only 22, but has played in FA Vase semi-finals and walked out at Wembley in big games and Dan Heath has done similar with Hadleigh, so we are not playing kids without experience.”

With last season’s main goalkeeper Alex Archer having also re-signed, Batch is looking for both young players to battle it out for the number one jersey.

“I told Alex Archer when I met him and he signed that I would be bringing another goalkeeper in as you need two at this level,” said Batch.

Both will work with new goalkeeping coach Darren Plowman, who joins after four-and-a-half years at Norwich City’s academy where he helped bring through England youth internationals Jed Steer, Angus Gunn (under-17s) and Declan Rudd (under-21s).

Ian Brown’s decision to stay on at the club as Batch’s assistant manager completes his backroom line-up.

The only two players of the squad he inherited not to have signed up for the next season are Lee Townrow and Luke Ingram, the latter now at Needham Market.

The squad will undergo their first training session with Batch and his head of coaching and player-development Steve Eastaugh on Tuesday, having all been given personal programmes to work on this week.

“They have some close season work to do before they come back, so we can start at a higher level of intensity,” he said. “We will not just be doing running or football, it will be mixed in with lots of different things.”

He added: “Our training is really geared to the player; the defenders will work on defending and the forwards on forward play as well as some overall team play.”

Another three signings are close to being tied up, with only completion of registration paperwork preventing the new boss from naming them.

But Batch will ditch predecessor Chris Tracey’s policy of only putting a couple of top players on contracts, with everyone set to be tied down.

He said: “If you are going to be successful you cannot have a revolving door.

“It is very easy to say a new signing will solve this and that, but it does not always work.”

Batch also confirmed Sam Clarke will be his captain next season, having led the team for the past two seasons.