New boy Bantick backs AFC to continue rise
New recruit Sam Bantick believes AFC Sudbury have the potential to reach the Vanarama National Leagues as he aims to make up for lost time.
Having endured a frustrating time at National League South outfit Concord Rangers, the 25-year-old, who had a brief but fruitful loan spell at AFC last season, scoring five times in eight appearances, has now returned to The Wardale Williams Stadium on a permanent basis.
And with the benefit of his higher-league experience and insight, the attacking midfielder sees no reason why his new club cannot one day match the achievements of his former side ahead of Sudbury’s first ever season at step four level, following promotion as Ryman League Division One North champions.
“My main aim was to try to find regular football again,” said Bantick on the move. “I felt like I was good enough to cut it at that higher level but I don’t feel like I was given a fair chance,
“Now I am looking forward to playing at AFC again. I did well in my loan spell here and I’m delighted to be back permanently.
“They have an amazing set up and play football in the right way. They are a lot more attacking and that really suits my style better.
“The infrastructure is all there to keep progressing. I would like to think the club are capable of reaching the National League South level and it would be great to be part of that journey.
“There is certainly room for improvement, everything is geared up to keep on building.
“I live in Brentwood, but I’m prepared to do the travelling because I can see the project that is in place at the club.
“I turned down offers closer to home because I want to be part of what this club is aiming to do.”
Turning his attention away from future aspirations and to the upcoming Ryman League Premier Division campaign, Bantick reinforced his lofty ambitions for the club, stating they should be more than looking to just consolidate their status in the division with the squad at their disposal.
“I definitely think the club should be looking at going up again in the near future,” he added. “Having played in this division before I can’t see anything to be worried about, we should be more than capable of just competing.
“There is a really good group of players here and the manager has managed to keep hold of the core of last season’s squad, which is great.
“I know the manager has high expectations but he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on us. However, for me the minimum expectation should be a top-half finish with an eye on the play-off places.”
n AFC continued their pre-season fixtures with differing fortunes over the last seven days following up a 3-1 victory at near neighbours Bury Town on Friday courtesy of goals from Luke Callander (2) and new signing Rob Eagle, with a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelmsford City on Tuesday.