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Goalkeeper ready to return for Sudbury

BIG RETURN: Paul Walker is due to return to AFC Sudbury colours after an injury layoff
BIG RETURN: Paul Walker is due to return to AFC Sudbury colours after an injury layoff

Paul Walker will be back between the posts for AFC Sudbury’s trip to Heybridge Swifts on Saturday (3pm), writes Liam Apicella.

The goalkeeper has been sidelined for AFC’s last nine matches with the broken finger he suffered during a training session.

However, the former Wales youth international has now recovered, and providing he suffers no ill effects at training tonight, Walker will resume his position at the Scraley Road Stadium.

Manager Mark Morsley said: “Paul is our first-choice goalkeeper and it is great to have him back fit.

“His finger is fully mended and he is ready to show again how good a goalkeeper he is.

“We have him for at least the next two years and he is a big part of our future and what we are looking to build here.”

The majority of Walker’s absence has been covered by Chelmsford City loanee Jake Jessup.

He featured on eight occasions in a Sudbury shirt, helping them to collect 13 points during that time.

Morsley said of Jessup’s contribution: “Jake has been superb for us and we are thankful to Chelmsford for letting us have him.

“He has not let us down at all and he was particularly good tonight (in the 2-1 win at Maldon & Tiptree).

“He made the right decisions and cleared his lines well.

“We wish him all the best for the future and thank him for how well he has played.”

Weekend opponents Heybridge are currently down in 17th in the Bostik League North Division, but having had good runs in the Emirates FA Cup and Buildbase FA Trophy, they have played just 19 league games.

In contrast, Sudbury have completed 31 fixtures and are seven points better off than the Essex side.

Swifts are widely expected to move up table over the coming weeks and months, but Morsley believes his side has every chance of halting the ascent if they can replicate the performance that earned them three points at Maldon.

“Heybridge are a really good club and in my opinion they will go through and win the league,” said the AFC chief.

“But if we can turn out another performance like that on Saturday, who knows?

“I expect they were here watching tonight and they will have gone away knowing we have some players that we need to watch.

“As a neutral they will have seen us blow Maldon away in the second half, so that might change how they approach things.”

• Sudbury have announced the appointment of Laura Maxim as the club’s new supporters’ liaison officer.

Maxim will aim to strengthen relations between the club’s management and the fans.

• The club will hold another Meet the Manager and Chairman Evening on Tuesday, January 30, at the King’s Marsh Stadium (7pm).

• AFC Gold week 38 winners: £100 (148) Mrs A Park, Alton Hall, Lane Stutton; £10 (116) P Gant, Cats Lane, Sudbury; £10 (249) L Haynes, Gaol Lane, Sudbury.

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