Chris Tracey delighted as Danny Gay re-signs for AFC Sudbury

DANNY Gay, described by AFC Sudbury boss Chris Tracey as “the best keeper in the Ryman North” has re-signed for the coming season.

Gay, who joined from fellow Ryman League Division One North side Needham Market a year ago, was the only player to play in all of the club’s 55 games last season.

Manager Tracey said: “I have been speaking with Danny since the end of last season and wanted him back at King’s Marsh as I regard him as the best keeper in the Ryman North.

“He had a number of offers to consider, but has agreed to re-sign and come back to try and earn the club promotion next season.”

Tracey has also signed central defender Bradley Thomas, who started his career at Peterborough United, from Grays, Eljay Worrell, who last season helped Tilbury reach the play-offs, and Stuart Fergus, who last season plied his trade with Ryman North rivals Heybridge Swifts.

David Wareham has followed Richard Howell, who has re-joined Evo-Stik Southern Premier club Hitchin Town, and Nathan Clarke in leaving AFC Sudbury.

Clarke is one of three new signings so far at Needham Market, along with Bury Town duo Kieran Leabon and Craig Nurse.

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Leabon, who netted a hat-trick on the final day of the season as Bury won promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division two years ago, was also a target for Leiston.

Striker Leabon had limited game time at Ram Meadow last season, as did Nurse, who can play in either midfield or as a striker.

Needham manager Danny Laws said: “All three signings are over 6ft, 1in and have power and a bit of pace and a physical presence about them.”

One player who won’t be at Bloomfields next season is former Ipswich Town and Colchester United star Gavin Johnson.

With the addition of Clarke, Pip Boyland re-signing, Jack Wilkinson returning after being on loan at Haverhill Rovers last season, James Evans and Ollie Fenn who can both play at the back, and skipper Rhys Barber, currently on honeymoon, hopefully re-signing, Laws said there was not room for Johnson in a streamlined squad.

“We had a chat at the end of last season and we are both equally disappointed.

“He was outstanding for us and was players’ player of the year last season and would have liked to have stayed under different circumstances.

“Gavin will be a big loss to us, but we must move on. He enjoyed his football with us last season and we enjoyed having him at the club.”

Former Needham Market and AFC Sudbury left-sided player Jemel Fox is looking for a new club after being released by Leiston, who he joined last season after leaving Sudbury.

Stuart Wardley has left Haverhill Rovers to re-join Saffron Walden Town.

The 37-year-old, who played for Saffron Walden before embarking on his professional career at Queens Park Rangers, will be player-coach.

Saffron Walden are expected to be re-elected to the newly-named Thurlow Nunn League at today’s AGM after withdrawing before the start of last season.

The FA Leagues Committee has recommended that the club be admitted to the National League system at Step 6.

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