Division One beckons after successive promotion for Sudbury men

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SUDBURY Men’s captain Chris Smith can’t wait to get going back in the big time after his side’s second successive promotion.

The club will be playing in Division One of the East Men’s League for the first time in 12 years after a 4-2 win over champions Ely City at Great Cornard Sports Centre sealed promotion on the last day of their season.

After going the whole campaign last term with a 100 per cent record to move up a league, Sudbury repeated their promotion trick again this year after winning 14 of their 22 Division Two North matches, drawing three and losing five.

Crucially, Sudbury went through the season unbeaten at home to surpass all expectations at the higher level.

A jubilant Smith, the team’s goalkeeper voted player of the season by his team-mates, said: “It is the first time we have been in Division One for 12 seasons, so it has been a long-term aim for us.

“The league was harder than we expected it to be. Our first aim was to stay up, having been promoted last year, and we used 20-odd players with everyone performing really well and we are already looking forward to Division One.”

Smith also paid tribute to the work of outgoing coach Stuart Kevis, who is stepping down due to work commitments after eight years of coaching both the mens and ladies sections.

With only two players leaving last season’s squad, Smith added a special mention for teenagers Sam Humphreys, Sam Palmer and Matt Hopkins for becoming regular fixtures in the first team side.