AFC Sudbury — Play-offs heartbreak will spur Brothers on

BACK IN TRAINING: New signing Michael Brothers, in blue, gets into the groove of things at King's Marsh again during pre-season training
BACK IN TRAINING: New signing Michael Brothers, in blue, gets into the groove of things at King's Marsh again during pre-season training

Former Colchester United academy player Michael Brothers is on a mission to complete unfinished business at AFC Sudbury.

The 28-year-old’s last game for the Yellows was the Ryman League Division One North play-off final penalties defeat at Harlow Town in 2006/2007.

And the attacking midfielder or striker — who has been joined by latest confirmed signings Josh Turner, Jamie Speller and Payton Swatman from Wroxham in David Batch’s revolution — is determined to earn AFC promotion at the second attempt.

The former Leiston player won Sudbury’s division under former manager Mark Morsley to make it back-to-back league titles in 2011/12 in their rapid rise to the Ryman League Premier Division — and still has the hunger to do it again.

He said: “I have got a point to prove to myself as I think I can still play at that level.

“Only playing half a season for Sudbury, I have got a point to prove.

“When we lost out on penalties I was gutted as I truly believe if we had won Sudbury would still be there now.

“It was a great chance for me to come back and hopefully push for promotion.”

Harwich-based Brothers had agreed to sign a contract extension at Leiston at the end of last season, but a change in work commitments, as a PE teacher travelling from the Essex town, saw him request a transfer.

He turned down the chance to be reunited with Morsley at Suffolk divisional rivals Needham Market to return to Sudbury, where he had found himself released at the end of his contract after signing in January 2007.

“I am absolutely buzzing to be back,” he said. “The club has always been well supported, which is a lovely factor.

“Coming back and seeing the new facilities here is an added bonus on top of signing for a good club.”

Brothers, who says he likes to entertain the crowd, has revealed the players cannot wait to get started ahead of their first friendly, at home to beaten Ryman Premier play-off finalists Lowestoft Town.

“We are itching to get going and next Tuesday cannot come quick enough to see if all the hard work in training has paid off,” he said.

Meanwhile, Batch has said he is happy he now has enough numbers in his squad after announcing another three players have signed, but may still look to improve the quality.

Left-back Turner, previously with Histon and Mildenhall Town, signed for Wroxham under Batch last season but injured his cruciate knee ligament after only two games, which saw him released.

He is still a couple of weeks away from full contact training, but the AFC boss feels he will be a good addition.

“I saw quite a lot of him at Mildenhall and liked his character and he is the kind of person you would like to have in any team to be honest,” he said.

“He has a good left foot and has a great delivery from dead balls.”

Batch hopes 20-year-old winger or forward Speller can improve the output of goals from midfield after scoring 10 times for Wroxham last season, with the player comfortable playing on both sides.

“He can play wide left, right or up front and is really quick,” he said. “He is a good finisher with his left foot or his right foot.”

Eighteen-year-old Swatman was playing in Wroxham’s academy last season and the attacking utility player made his first-team debut with a stand-out performance in their 2-0 defeat to Norwich City Under-21s in the Norfolk Senior Cup final.

“He is quick and really comfortable on the ball and can run with it or can pass,” said Batch. “He is strong and likes a tackle and will win headers, despite his stature, and he is mentally tough.”