Ready for gruelling run
Fresh legs in at just the right time — that is what AFC Sudbury’s boss believes will prove pivotal as games come thick and fast over Christmas.
David Batch returned to his former club Cambridge United once more for loan players at the end of last week, bringing promising U’s under-21s duo Aryton Bevins and George Doyle to Suffolk on one-month loan deals.
And he believes the timing of it could prove to be as valuable as the quality they will bring in.
Ahead of a run of five games in 16 days, which comes off the back of a punishing schedule of seven games in just over three weeks (22 days), starting with the visit of Brightlingsea Regent (11th) on Boxing Day (3pm), he said fatigue and Sam Clarke’s three-game suspension had forced him to act.
“We have nine games over the next month and what we do not want to do to ourselves is stress our players too much,” he said.
“Kris Newby (hamstring) should be back Boxing Day, as with the two lads I’ve brought in we thought we had enough to not risk him at Barkingside Saturday (3-0 win).
“Sam Clarke is still out for another two games and we wanted to make sure we have enough bodies around and a bit of cover.”
But he added that Bevins, who was an apprentice at Skybet Championship newcomers Rotherham United for two years, and Doyle are set to do more than just make up the numbers, and has not ruled out the pair staying longer than a stop-gap month.
“They are both good players,” he said. “One (Doyle) is their top scorer in their under-21s from centre midfield and the other is a (quick) forward who was at Rotherham for two years.
“Both are training with their first-team squad (in Skybet League Two).”
He added: “They both have good quality attributes and it might be something we extend if they do well and improve our group.”
AFC (seventh) go into a heavy run of league games, with a trip to leaders Needham Market in a tantalising Suffolk derby at Bloomfields following on January 1 (Thursday 3pm), only outside the play-offs on goal difference from Ware and Thurrock, with the former visiting on January 3 (3pm).
Jack Wilkinson has recovered from his illness ahead of their Boxing Day clash, while Tyler Kemp is now over his foot injury which kept him out of the pleasing 3-0 victory at Barkingside on Saturday.