FREE-SCORING utility player Rhys Darg could have played his last game for AFC Sudbury this season in what would be a blow to their promotion ambitions.
Yellows manager Chris Tracey, who battled with the Swedish Football Association for weeks to get the ex-Arsenal trainnee’s registration cleared to return to AFC, has conceded once he recovers from a hamstring injury he may be packing his bags for Sweden.
It would be a big loss for Sudbury, who beat Suffolk rivals Needham Market 1-0 in front of a bumper crowd on Monday, as the Wales under-16 capped 23-year-old had hit seven goals in seven starts and three substitute appearances, playing in a variety of positions.
“Rhys Darg will be out for a few weeks then he might be going back to Sweden after all the prolonged negotiations trying to get him back to sign on and play for us,” admitted a frustrated Tracey, who believes the squad is strong enough to cope without him.
“It could be a move to a second division club but I have not spoken to him since New Year’s Eve.”
AFC are back in a play-off spot in fifth place in Ryman League Division One North having dropped out of the top five following a frustrating 0-0 draw at bottom side Ilford which saw Sam Clarke sent off before beating Needham Market on Monday.
After Dan Emmanuel rewarded his manager for re-instating him in his starting line-up with a match-winning goal, Tracey said: “It is nice to have competition for places and it was a big three points for us against Needham.
“It has been a good few years since Sudbury were in the top two of this division, since Mark Morseley (now Leiston manager) was last here and we have got ourselves into a decent position now.
“It has been a long slog to get in there (play-off zone) but now there is a lot of games to be played and a lot of good teams in this division and they are beating each other.”
AFC will have to make do without Steve Adams (returning from injury) at Potters Bar Town on Saturday (3pm) – who Tracey says were in the top three sides to have visited their ground so far this season. a game Sudbury scraped a fortuitous 1-0 win in at the end of November.
They then face Leiston, the current table toppers, twice in the space of four days, the first a Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-final at The Mel Group Stadium on Tuesday (7.45pm) before a league fixture at the same venue on the following Saturday.
Tracey, who has said he will not take the county cup competition lightly with a Portman Road final two wins away, said: “Leiston have obviously been on a fantastic run of late and have a lot of players who were missing with injury earlier in the season playing regularly now.
“But having said that, we gave a good account of ourselves in the two-and-a-bit games we played against them already this year (one postponed due to fog). They hold no fears for us and they will see us as a tough game.”
He added of his selection dilemma for the cup: “It is a difficult one really, when you are in and around the play-offs you want to keep yourself in there but sometimes you have to keep the momentum going.
“I certainly will not be taking it lightly. The supporters at this club want success and I don’t care which competition it comes in.”