Morsley ‘ratchets up the pressure’ on his younger players at AFC Sudbury

Callum Harrison, the former Colchester United trainee, who should make his AFC Sudbury debut at Tilb

Callum Harrison, the former Colchester United trainee, who should make his AFC Sudbury debut at Tilbury today. Picture: BEN POOLEY - Credit: Archant

AFC Sudbury boss, Mark Morsley, wants his younger players to “step up to the plate” this season.

Jordan Blackwell, left, fending off Lowestoft's Ryan Jarvis, is back playing for AFC Sudbury this se

Jordan Blackwell, left, fending off Lowestoft's Ryan Jarvis, is back playing for AFC Sudbury this season. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Sudbury kick-off their Bostik (Isthmian) North campaign with an away match at Tilbury this afternoon. Tilbury are managed by former Colchester United left-back Joe Keith, who turned out for the U’s between 1999 and 2005.

It was a very youthful Sudbury squad which finished bang in mid-table last season in 12th position, and the emphasis will again be on drawing from the club’s Academy riches this term.

In addition, Morsley snapped up experienced striker, Paul Hayes, earlier in the week to add some firepower and wile-and-guile to his team.

Former Scunthorpe United goal-poacher Hayes, 34, is unlikely to play today, due to international clearance still being sought, following his stay at Newport County last season. Instead, he should make his debut at home to Heybridge Swifts the following weekend.


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“Our aim is to be up near the top of the table, around the play-offs,” insisted Morsley.

“We need to aim that high, and Paul Hayes has given us the ammunition to achieve that, while obviously getting off to a good start is all-important.

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“Paul is still only 34, and he’s a very fit lad. He has still got a lot of games in him, and he was a legend for Scunthorpe.

“We have put a lot of emphasis on our Academy, so we need to start producing some results now, as the next part of the journey.

“We played a lot of the younger lads last season, and they need to be stepping up to the plate now.

“We need to ratchet up the pressure on them – the Academy needs to start producing the goods.”

As well as the high-profile Hayes, who played more than 500 games for 11 different Football League clubs during his professional career, Sudbury boss Morsley bolstered his squad with the addition of two new signings earlier in the summer.

Jordan Blackwell, a winger, has returned to the club from Stanway Rovers, while former Colchester United trainee Callum Harrison has made the move from Needham Market.

“Both have signed permanent deals,” confirmed Morsley.

Today’s hosts, Tilbury, finished last season in 17th spot, though only three points behind Sudbury.

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