Double delight for AFC Sudbury boss David Batch as his side march into League Cup final against Maidstone United, while also signing an extension to his contract
- Credit: James Ager
Having progressed to a League Cup final as well as signing a contract extension, it’s been a good few days for AFC Sudbury manager David Batch.
Goals from Jack Cawley and Payton Swatman on Thursday evening saw Sudbury progress past Ware 2-1, and into the final of the Robert Dyas League Cup, where they will face Ryman Premier outfit, Maidstone United on April 8.
“I’m really, really pleased,” declared Batch.
“To reach a final of a cup competition is a great achievement, and it’s one every football club should aim for.
“I had to give some of the younger lads a chance, and not only did they do well and show progress, they’ve given themselves a chance of being more involved.”
Youngsters Swatman, Steve Adam, Jamie Crisell, and Scott Kemp all played their part on Thursday, after a bout of injuries and unavailabilities to Batch’s first-team crop.
Sudbury hadn’t reached a cup final since their Ryman League Cup adventure in 2006 (where they lost to Ramsgate FC on penalties), and this achievement marks what a fine season the club are having.
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Before their recent league wobble earlier this month, which saw the club record back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, Sudbury had lost just once in the Ryman North since October.
For Batch, who joined Sudbury from Wroxham in May 2013, progressing to a cup final signals further success.
Since returning to management in 2008, following a spell out of the game, Batch has either led his team to a cup final or a final runners-up League position in every season - quite an achievement.
And the manager celebrated Thursday’s success following an agreement to sign a new two-year contract at the MEL Group Stadium, which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2015/16 season.
“When I joined Sudbury, I joined for all the right reasons and that’s why I’ve extended my stay,” explained Batch.
“It’s a club moving in the right direction.
“And by that, I’m not just talking about the first-team - I’m talking about developing local and young players with hunger to do well.
“Everyone is showing commitment to the cause and we are in a far better place than we were 12 months ago.”
Batch continued: “We’ve certainly made some steps forward.
“The first of these has been finishing higher up the league (Sudbury finished in a disappointing 17th last year), which we’re looking likely to do.
“As I’ve said before, every team I have managed previously have always finished in a higher league position the next season.”
Following recent league defeats to Witham (2-1), and Chatham (2-0), Sudbury travel to Harlow today, a team they drew with 0-0 on Tuesday evening.
Batch added: “Tuesday was a raw, horrible battle but I expect Saturday to be a totally different game.
“They’ve got a lovely surface and I think that will help our style. We’re looking forward to it, and I’m hoping for a good game of football.”