AFC Sudbury will continue to thrive after Pearce exit

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After a second influential figurehead at AFC Sudbury stepped down, supporters have been reassured there is no need to panic.

Director Richard Instance is confident Mick Pearce’s departure as general manager of football, adding to the still vacant chairman role, will not harm the running of the club.

Former Suffolk Football Association chairman Pearce stepped down from his position last Wednesday, with the club having not invited new applicants by the time the Free Press went to press yesterday.

This was in contrast to the AFC Sudbury Reserves manager position, vacated by Dave Walton hours before Pearce’s departure was announced.

But Instance, who along with chief executive Mark Pearman and director and groundsman Danny Crosbie are most heavily involved in AFC’s decision-making, says there is nothing to worry about.

“I think we are in a position, luckily, where we have vast numbers of volunteers at Sudbury who are prepared to share things about and cover for each other,” he said, while praising the work Pearce did in his 12 months, which included player contract negotiations and structuring the football side off the pitch.

He added: “There is no panicking going on or anything like that.

“I am sure we will be sitting down and reviewing where we are — David is a very capable manager and capable of running the football side.”

Manager Batch, who had previously reported to Pearce, said he will now report directly to the board and was already taking over contract negotiations.

“Me and Mick had, and still do have, a great relationship,” he said. “He helped with my transition into the club and put together a pathway and a team of individuals to progress players from the youth set-up upwards.

“His work has reduced accordingly, which is testament to him for putting the right people into the right places.”

Batch added he had not come across a non-League club as well run as AFC Sudbury.

“Sudbury has got a structure, processes and people there that make it bigger than any individual and that is really important,” he said.

* After controversially sent off for Inverness Caldeonian Thistle in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final, Cavendish-raised Josh Meekings is set to hear today if he will be banned for the final.