Batch adds veteran ex-Barnet full-back to finish AFC squad

Latest sport news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest sport news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Former Barnet left-back Lee Flynn has signed for AFC Sudbury in what manager David Batch believes will be the last transfer activity before the new season kicks off in nine days’ time.

The 40-year-old impressed in a trial spell after playing at Grays Athletic, where he was player/assistant manager last season, with Batch offering him a non-contract deal.

“Jack Wilkinson (double hernia) is not fully recovered from the operation he 
had in the summer so we were short at left-back,” 
he said. “Lee comes in 
having played at a higher 
level in the Football League and brings great experience — it was a simple one really.”

Flynn featured regularly for Barnet in the second half of the 2000/01 season as they were relegated to the Conference Premier, going on to play at the top of the non-League pyramid with Stevenage Borough and Dagenham and Redbirdge.

“He is just steady,” said Batch of his 10th signing of the summer. “I have had really good reports about his fitness and his attitude and he has done really well in pre-season and all the games.”

One left-back who will no longer be available is Josh Turner, who has been forced to retire with injury at the age of 22 after suffering a recurrence of the anterior cruciate ligament knee injury which he was recovering from when he broke down with ligament damage last pre-season, in his comeback game for AFC Sudbury Reserves against Sporting 87 a couple of weeks ago.

But Turner, who came over with Batch from Wroxham without being able to make a competitive appearance, revealed he is hopeful of staying at the club in a coaching capacity.

“It has been a big blow but Batchy has said there will be a role for me at Sudbury doing some coaching which we will talk about when I get back on my feet,” he said. “I will still be part of it and will be able to pass on my experience and passion to others.”

He added: “The club have been really good and I have had a lot of nice messages.”

AFC were due to elect a new chairman last night — for the first time since Philip Turner stood down at the start of last season — at their AGM of shareholders.

The club’s pre-season continued with a 1-0 home defeat to a Norwich City Under-21s team on Thursday, which saw former Leeds United striker Lucciano Becchio in the Canaries’ side, with Batch saying his players played ‘very well’.

He said the trip to Belfast to face NIFL Premiership side Glentoran, which ended in a 3-2 defeat with James Baker and Jordan Blackwell scoring, had been a great success.

“We deserved to be 3-1 down at half-time on Saturday, but in the second half we could have scored five goals, rather than the one, as we were dominant,” he said.

Tuesday’s home game, a 1-1 draw with lower-league Felixstowe and Walton United in which new signing Jake Reed scored, saw Batch rest some players and give some youngsters such as goalkeeper Paddy Hawkins and Johnnie Kerridge a run out, while Micheal Shinn got his first 90 minutes.

A Cambridge United XI visit tomorrow night (7.45pm) before an Ipswich Town XI on Tuesday (7.45pm) with Thursday’s game at Thetford Town (7.45pm) set to include a mix of under-21 players.

n Keep up to date with the season — pull out your own AFC Sudbury fixtures poster on Page 64