AFC Sudbury bring in Lowestoft Town midfielder Robert Eagle and Concord Rangers’ Sam Bantick

Robert Eagle

Robert Eagle - Credit: David Horn/Focus Images Limited

AFC Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold has made his first two signings of the summer at the newly-promoted Ryman Premier Division club.

Godbold has swooped for Leiston-born midfielder Robert Eagle, from Lowestoft Town, while Concord Rangers’ Sam Bantick has also put pen to paper on a deal at the Wardale Williams Stadium.

Defenders James Baker, Jack Wilkinson and Ben Robinson, winger Jordan Blackwell, captain Sam Clarke and goalkeeper Marcus Garnham have already penned new deals with the club.

Eagle was out-of-contract with the Trawlerboys and was not offered a new deal as Ady Gallagher’s side prepare for life back in the Ryman Premier alongside Sudbury, Leiston and Needham Market.

The midfielder spent five years at Crown Meadow and scored the first goal in Town’s Ryman Premier play-off final victory over Hornchurch two years ago.

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The 29-year-old began his career at Norwich City, making 12 appearances for the Canaries, before going on to have spells at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Grimsby Town and Alfreton Town.

Midfielder Bantick, meanwhile, has rejoined the Ryman North champions, following a spell at the Wardale Williams Stadium during this season’s title-winning campaign.

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He joined last September from Concord and played eight games, scoring a hat-trick against Heybridge Swifts, before electing to return to Essex a month later.

The 24-year-old also had a spell at Heybridge, as well as representing Cheshunt, Ware, Hatfield Town and Great Wakering.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Town’s Academy and AFC Sudbury have agreed a partnership which will begin next season.

The deal will see players involved in the Blues’ Academy Elite set-up join part of AFC Sudbury’s youth section, and they will participate as a team in the Eastern Junior Alliance.

Town Academy, Head of Recruitment, Steve McGavin is excited about the alliance and said: “It’s something we have been looking to put together for a long time but couldn’t quite find the right club mainly due to location and facilities.

“What started with an informal discussion with Danny Laws, AFC Sudbury Director of Football, has now turned into something tangible.

“This is a great chance for our Elite players to develop and progress with Ipswich Town Academy coaches and use top class facilities.

“Some may come back into the Academy but they also have the opportunity to progress through the age groups at AFC Sudbury.”

AFC Sudbury Director, Keith Morris, said: “I am delighted with this partnership with ITFC.

“It will complement and support the wonderful work currently being undertaken by our Academy and youth section.”

n Dean Mason and goalkeeper, Elvijs Putnins have also been released by Lowestoft Town.

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