AFC Sudbury - Tracey: ‘Fit players will be key’

AFC SUDBURY manager Chris Tracey believes imposing a gruelling summer fitness regime on his squad will prevent a repeat of their disastrous 2011/12 start, writes Russell Claydon.

It took the Yellows seven games to register their first league win last term, ultimately costing them a Ryman League Division One North play-off place.

“Pre-season training will commence on July 3 and it will be three-times-a-week,” he revealed. “A fitness guy will be coming in for 10 or 11 sessions — we were not fit enough at the start of last season.

“If you are fitter physically you are fitter mentally — I am a great believer of that.”

Following the end-of-season presentations dinner on Friday, Tracey has said verbal agreements have been reached with 28-goal top scorer James Baker, captain Sam Clarke, combative midfielder Russell Pond and warhorse defender James Smith to stay on next season, while discussions with goalkeeper Danny Gay are said to be nearly complete. Baker’s future is more complicated, with the former Braintree Town player currently finishing a sports university course in Cambridge and set to stay at AFC, subject to remaining in the area, though his girlfriend lives in Norway.

Eleven-goal defender Nathan Clarke bagged both the supporters and players’ player of the year trophies while Michael Shinn took the managers’ player award last Friday for his help after coach Jack Wignall left.