Ollie Peters is poised to become the latest AFC Sudbury rising star to move to the United States on a football scholarship.
He is following Joe Wright and Callum Watson, whose departures were announced a couple of weeks ago, and manager Mark Morsley believes others could follow.
“It’s a great move for them, a tremendous opportunity, both financially, and to go and enjoy some excellent facilities when they play,” he said.
Peters would have been offered a contract to remain at AFC for next season, and Morsley expressed his disappointment at losing the player, though he conceded he would have made the same move.
Peters is now unlikely to regularly figure in the first team for the rest of the season as Morsley looks to build for the future. He said: “It will give me a chance to look at some of the other academy players.”
On the pitch, Morsley feels he has achieved his initial aim of steering the club away from the relegation dog fight.
“Stabilisation, and a working relationship with the academy were the aims. I have a track record of giving young players a chance,” he reflected.
“And a lot of young players have come in and done well. That was what the club wanted. ”
The 2-0 defeat at Bowers & Pitsea on February 24, ending a run of six games without defeat, five of them wins, left Morsley disappointed.
“We had done better in a lot more games than I expected, and shown some green shoots of promise,” he said.
“But it was the way we lost the game. We showed bits and pieces, but showed we are not yet ready to go up. Don’t get me wrong, if we get into the play-offs we will give it our best shot.”
Morsley has no signing targets in mind at present, but given the financial situations at Lowestoft Town and Dulwich Hamlet, possible signings may emerge.
Lowestoft’s players were not paid in January, and Dulwich Hamlet have been served with an eviction notice and a £121,000 bill for ‘back rent’ by their landlords.
“I’m not actively looking, but if players move to another club, there is always a knock-on effect, and if a suitable player came available, we would react,” he revealed.
AFC are back in action on Saturday when they visit Haringey Borough (3pm), and Morsley has a full squad to pick from, with the players having returned to training on Tuesday.
They were given Tuesday last week off, Thursday training was ruled out by snow, and Saturday’s home game against Witham Town was among the many matches postponed. That fixture will now be played on March 27.
• AFC Gold week 44 winners: £100 Peddars (182), King St, Sudbury; £10 R Tyrell (282), Beaconsfield Close, Sudbury; £10 Mrs B Long (112), Spring Lane Lavenham.