AFC Sudbury - Tracey close to striker signing

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AFC Sudbury manager Chris Tracey is keen to ease the goalscoring burden on James Baker by signing an experienced striker this week.

The Yellows’ boss is set to speak to his number one target today, and has others on his radar in a week when Richard Howell left to re-join Evo-Stik Southern Premier club Hitchin Town.

With goalkeeper Danny Gay re-signed for another season and 27-year-old Stuart Fergus adding to AFC’s midfield options, Tracey hopes to complete his promotion-winning blueprint by securing a deal for a prolific forward.

AFC’s manager said: “I’ve sorted the goalkeeper out, shaken up the back four and my midfield is settled, so I’m just waiting for a couple of answers from strikers this week.”

Tracey’s preferred striking option has spent most of his career playing in the Conference North or South leagues, two levels higher than Sudbury currently compete at.

At the other end of the pitch, Yellows fans will get to see Gay in action at The MEL Group Stadium again next season after the former Southend United stopper committed his immediate future to AFC.

“That is massive for us,” said Tracey. “He’s had opportunities to play for other clubs who have approached him during the summer, but he likes Sudbury and likes the players I have been bringing to the club.”

Former Halstead Town midfielder Stuart Fergus became AFC’s sixth new addition of the summer after joining the King’s Marsh-based club from Ryman One North rivals Heybridge Swifts.

“He’s a lad who can play in many positions,” said Tracey. “He’s neat and tidy on the ball, a proper footballer, and that’s one of the reasons I have signed him.”

Defenders Bradley Thomas, Eljay Worrell and Lauris Coggin have already joined Sudbury, as well as midfielder Craig Bussens and utility player Rhys Darg, while wideman or striker Howell leaves after a season which saw him score seven times from 32 starts and two sub appearances in all competitions.

Players re-signed so far: James Baker, Sam Clarke, Russell Pond, James Smith, Danny Gay, Adam Dalby, Michael Shinn, Dan Emmanuel.

Players left so far: Nathan Clarke, Richard Howell.

n AFC Sudbury will be hosting four international matches this weekend against two teams from German club SV Höxter, from the town twinned with Sudbury.

Two matches, between under-16 and under-18 teams, will kick-off at The Mel Group Stadium at 9am on Saturday and on Sunday there will be two more matches, at 10am and 2pm.

There is free admission to the matches, which are being held as part of the Celebrate Sudbury 2012 weekend of events to celebrate the sports opportunities within the town.

n Meanwhile, Norwich City will be holding free open trials at The MEL Group Stadium next Friday (29th) for under-7s, u8s and u9s from 5-6pm and u10s, u11s and u12s from 6-7pm (all age groups as of next season) for their new player development centre at Culford, near Bury St Edmunds.