Sides from Ipswich Town, Norwich City and Cambridge United will provide a stern test of AFC Sudbury’s Ryman League promotion credentials in pre-season.
A set of nine friendlies, some set to feature sides mixed with the reserves and the newly-formed under-18s, were announced this week.
Norwich City, relegated from the Premier League last season, will send an academy side to King’s Marsh on July 24 (7.30pm), while newly-promoted League Two outfit Cambridge United will visit on August 1 (3pm) before an Ipswich Town XI conclude a hectic programme on August 5 (7.45pm).
The first-team squad will also play host to higher-league rivals Bury Town in a memorial match on July 19 (3pm) to mark 10 years since the passing of former player Aaron Gardiner, who played with and under manager David Batch, and will travel to King’s Lynn Town on July 26 (3pm).
Mixed sides will take on Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division sides Walsham-le-Willows (away, July 5), Diss Town (away, July 12), Hadleigh United (home, July 15) and Felixstowe and Walton United (home, July 29).
Batch said of the trio of Football League opposition set to visit: “They are nice friendlies to have and they will do what pre-season is designed to do and make our players run around a lot more than in the season.
“I am expecting some really tough games.”
The AFC boss has been busy talking to targets to bolster his squad ahead of pre-season and said he expects to be in a position to announce his first signings of the summer next week.
“We have had a lot of interest and are deciding on the ones we want,” he said.