Batch set to add experience to squad

NUMBER ONE: AFC manager David Batch is not looking for a new goalkeeper to challenge Alex Archer
NUMBER ONE: AFC manager David Batch is not looking for a new goalkeeper to challenge Alex Archer

AFC Sudbury manager David Batch has revealed he is set to beef up his youthful squad with ‘four or five’ experienced players over the summer.

But a goalkeeper to compete with Alex Archer is not part of his plans as he looks to reward the 19-year-old with the number one jersey again after an impressive ever-present 2013/14 campaign.

Having re-signed 10 of last season’s squad, the Yellows’ boss was this week finalising deals for a trio of new players to add the missing ingredients for a tilt at promotion in Ryman League Division One North next season — with a possible two more to follow.

“Our first team was a very young squad last year and our three most experienced players were 28 years of age, and football-wise that is meant to be your peak,” he said. “We have two aims, and that is to bring in quality experience at the top end to balance out what we already have in senior bodies, and also to bring in some really good talented young players at the other end of their careers.

“At the top end, experience-wise, we are looking at four to maybe five.”

Another goalkeeper is not within that contingent though, with fellow youngster Dan Heath’s release having left them with only Archer above the youth teams.

Batch said: “I think Alex Archer deserves his chance to go to another level again, and I think he can. From that perspective, I have not sought to find another goalkeeper.

“But I do appreciate that we may need another goalkeeper at some time for one reason or another and that is something on my mind that we will look to address, but I would not call that a key area.”

With former Needham Market and Leiston manager Danny Laws now heading up the club’s youth section, Batch said a raft of talented players have been targeted from across Suffolk and Essex with the reserves and newly-formed under-18s sides set to mix into one group in pre-season.

n AFC Sudbury’s Under-18s will host a young Colchester United side on a date yet to be announced.