Four players and assistant manager depart AFC Sudbury

AFC Sudbury have released FOUR more players and assistant manager Barry Lakin ahead of today’s trip to Tilbury.

The Ryman League Division One North side have released Ben Smith, Ian Cousins. David Bryant, Eljay Worrell along with Lakin following the departure of goalkeeper Danny Gay while on-loan Ben Bowditch has also left the club and signed for AFC Hornchurch.

The move comes in the wake of the Suffolk side’s early exit from the FA Cup and the FA Trophy this season, both money-spinning competitions in terms of the available prize money.

After defeating Ilford 5-0 in the FA Cup preliminary round, AFC Sudbury crashed out of the competition at the first qualifying round stage when losing 4-1 at divisional rivals Heybridge Swifts.

The King’s Marsh club then bowed out of the FA Trophy a fortnight ago, losing 1-0 at Faversham Town in the preliminary qualifying round, prompting action following a discussion between chairman Philip Turner and manager Chris Tracey.

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Turner told the club’s website: “Danny Gay left the club earlier, as he had the opportunity of playing for his home club in King’s Lynn. The club is sorry to lose Danny as he has been a model professional the whole time he has been with the club.

“Despite travelling 450 miles each week to attend training and matches he was never late, he was a great player to have in the changing room and was very popular with the management and his team mates. We wish Danny every success with his new club.

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“These departures have allowed the return of Fred Howe in goal and Jacob Brown in midfield and these two along with the rest of the established players are more than capable of getting the club into the promotion positions at the end of the season, particularly when we get James Baker, Lee Boylan and Sam Clarke fit and playing again.”

Although Howe, who played eight games in the 2010/11 season before losing his place to Gay, will play in goal this afternoon, the 20-year-old will face competition for the keeper’s jersey from signing Alex Archer.

The 18-year-old former Peterborough goalkeeper will make his debut for AFC Sudbury Reserves today at Brantham Athletic in the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League, after being released by Needham Market, who have recruited Leiston’s Louis Johnson as their new No.1.

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