AFC Sudbury forward Ollie Hughes looking to prove himself at Ryman level after ‘strange spell’ at Leiston

Sudbury's Ollie Hughes playing for Leiston earlier in the season

Sudbury's Ollie Hughes playing for Leiston earlier in the season - Credit: Archant

AFC Sudbury frontman Ollie Hughes wants to help fire the Suffolk side into the play-offs come the end of the season.

Hughes moved to the MEL Group Stadium from rivals Leiston in November after seemingly being surplus to requirements at Victory Road under ex-Blues boss Steve Pitt.

In fact, in what the player himself describes as a ‘strange sequence of events’, Hughes only joined Leiston in September before being shown the door.

“Nobody really knows what went on at Leiston, not even me,” said Hughes, whose team entertain Dereham in Ryman League North tomorrow – weather and pitch conditions permitting.

“I saw Andy Crisp (Leiston chairman) at the League Cup game a couple of weeks ago and he said he didn’t know what happened.

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“Maybe if Steve Ball was the manager then, like he is now, things would’ve been different but I have no regrets.

Hughes continued: “I felt I did alright whenever I played but it was a difficult time the club was going through.

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“It’s a shame it didn’t work out and I’m a very loyal player so I felt a bit guilty when I left after just seven weeks.”

Hughes’ time at Victory Road wasn’t helped by a knee injury, but the former Walsham striker has settled in quickly since moving to Sudbury, with the hard-working, versatile forward, who scored 22 goals in the Thurlow Nunn Premier for the Willows last season, not looking back since netting on his first start for the club.

“I’ve settled really well and am really enjoying it,” said Hughes, who opted to pick Sudbury over Needham Market when he was allowed to move on.

“I’m playing regularly and have scored four goals in seven starts, without losing a game, so it’s been really good.

“I had an offer from Needham Market as well but I was really close to signing here in the summer and I just felt it was the right fit for me.”

Hughes had a trial at Skrill Premier Luton Town in the summer and despite holding his own, scoring one goal in three appearances, nothing came of the interest.

Speaking of the experience, Hughes said: “It was a massive shock to get the trial and I felt I did alright but I never heard back from them afterwards.

“My aim now is to establish myself at this level, play regularly and hopefully score some goals to hit us into the play-offs.

“The next couple of months are crucial for us, the games are coming in thick and fast and it’s essential we keep the play-offs in our sights.

“We’re playing well and are in it together.

“If we can turn some of these draws into wins then we’ll have a real chance.”

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