Improvements keep coming on and off the pitch at AFC Sudbury

David Blatch

David Blatch - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

AFC Sudbury boss David Batch feels the MEL Group Stadium is set to become one of the premier non-league grounds in East Anglia.

AFC Sudbury boss David Batch feels the MEL Group Stadium is set to be one of the premier non-league football grounds in East Anglia.

Already recognised for its excellent facilities, the home of AFC Sudbury is getting 3G in the near future, one of the few non-league clubs to offer the facility.

For Batch, it displays another reason why he took on the job and there is little doubt AFC Sudbury are capable of being a force further up the pyramid than just Step Four.

“The introduction of 3G, when it comes, sums up the fantastic facilities we have and will have at Sudbury,” Batch said.

“When I was looking over the offer for the job here, I had to ask myself is there a non-league club with better facilities than this?

Apart from St Neots, I had to say no.

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“Now, my job is to put a team on the pitch to match the level of facilities.”

Batch has been busy in the transfer market, as his players returned to pre-season training last week.

Ben Thompson, scorer of 17 goals for Wroxham in the Ryman North last season, is the latest to join AFC on a one year deal.

The 28 year-old former Norwich City striker, netted 17 times despite missing the first eight weeks of the season with a hamstring injury.

He joins the already signed Adam Dalby, Andy Fisher, Ryan Henshaw, Tom Cutts, Ben Lewis, Jamie Forshaw and Nathan Clarke, who returns from Needham Market.

A push towards Step Three is clearly the aim, but Batch is making no promises.

“I’m not promising promotion this season and I’m not promising promotion any time.

“But I promise this, we will improve on the pitch each year I’m here.

“This club finished 17th in the Ryman North last season with the highest-averaged home attendances. That says much about our fans.”

AFC Sudbury have arranged some attractive pre-season fixtures, starting with a home clash with Lowestoft on Tuesday, July 9, followed days later with a home clash with Colchester United.

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