AFC Sudbury face mass exodus

THERE could be a mass exodus at AFC Sudbury for the second successive summer after it was confirmed that the club will have to stay in the British Gas Southern League Midlands Division.

Stuart Watson

THERE could be a mass exodus at AFC Sudbury for the second successive summer after it was confirmed that the club will have to stay in the British Gas Southern League Midlands Division.

The Suffolk club, along with near neighbours Bury Town, were controversially moved across from the Ryman League at the start of the 2008/9 campaign by the Football Association.

As a result a number of players decided they could not commit to the extra travelling involved and dropped down a level to play in the Ridgeons League, with David Head, Brett Girling and Stuart Boardley all joining Leiston.


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After doing well to finish 12th, Sudbury asked the FA if they could move back into the Ryman League for next season, but their plea has fallen on deaf ears. The club is now likely to appeal against the decision.

Manager Nicky Smith is desperately disappointed with the news. He said: “This is going to be a major problem for us. I had a number of players lined up from higher leagues who had agreed to sign (if the club switched leagues) which is not going to happen now.

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“Eight of my current squad have agreed to stay on, but I think a lot of the others had been hanging on to see where we would be playing next season.”

“A lot of them will be thinking why travel all that way every week when they can earn the same money in the Ridgeons League? I can understand that because in the current climate they can't always get time off work and if they've got young families at home they can't be away all the time.”

New sides that AFC Sudbury will be playing next season will be Hitchin Town, who were relegated from the Premier Division, as well as Beaconsfield SYCOB, Slough Town and Burnham who all move from the South and West Divisions.

Dunstable and Woodford are relegated and are replaced by Biggleswade Town, while Chasetown have been moved sideways to the Northern League Division One South.

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