England Colleges international Freddie King sings two-year deal at AFC Sudbury
Despite interest from several professional clubs, England Colleges’ international Freddie King has penned a two-year contract to continue his development at AFC Sudbury, we can reveal.
The 18-year-old is due to finish his scholarship online with the club’s academy next month, but feels he is in the best place to continue chasing his dream of a professional career in the game.
“With Sudbury being a Step 4 club it is a really good level of football for up-and-coming players looking to break into the first team, and there is nothing better really,” said the Great Notley-based striker, the son of pro snooker player Mark King.
Manager Mark Morsley, who was re-appointed to the role last week following his resignation five weeks previously, said it was a ‘great coup’ for the club, but also a good move for the player.
“I met his family in Braintree just before Christmas and again just before the lockdown kicked in,” he revealed.
“If you look at the Tyler French model of coming from a youth academy to a professional football club having been grounded at a decent non-league level, you develop and learn a lot more than if you play under-18s or U23s football at a professional club. That is because, regardless of the level, there is an expectation of winning games and, if you are a striker, scoring goals.
“I feel it is a good move for him and certainly his family and himself felt that.”
King, who only turned 18 in January, enjoyed a big breakthrough season in senior football in the coronavirus shortened 2019/20 campaign.
As well as making 28 appearances for the first team, scoring seven goals, King played a leading role in equalling a club record FA Youth Cup run, ending in the second round at Bristol Rovers, where he scored in a 2-1 defeat.
He also became the first player from the club to represent England Colleges FA, going on to play in an international tournament in Italy in February.
He was regularly watched by scouts from professional clubs, and on his return from Europe took up the offer of a trial at Sky Bet Championship strugglers Barnsley.
But he did not accept the offer of a second week, having only got the chance to train within the club’s academy. King has previously stated his desire to follow in the footsteps of Tyler French, who came through AFC’s academy to become a first-team fixture before progressing directly on to a professional contract at League Two Bradford City.
Meanwhile, Morsley has agreed to take part in a live streamed question-and-answer session with supporters in a virtual end-of-season presentation night.
The club have set the date of Saturday, May 16 with a start time of 7pm, with Facebook Live listed as their probable hosting platform.
NEW KIT DEAL FOR YELLOWS
AFC Sudbury have announced Hummel will take over from Errera as the club’s new kit partner on a three-year deal.
Total Football of Ipswich will supply the kit to all the club’s senior and junior sides and training wear range and will run the club’s online shop in a new partnership.
The club’s new kit is set to be revealed in the coming days.
*AFC Gold week 51: £100 (127) P Scott, Constitution Hill, Sudbury; £10 (166) Mrs J Simpson, Lombardy Rd, Sudbury; £10 (177) P Turner, Westgate St, Bury St Edmunds.
More by this authorRussell Claydon