Jamie Godbold urges AFC Sudbury fans not to panic despite exodus of senior players
AFC Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold has told supporters of the club to remain calm, despite a whole host of senior players departing the Wardale Williams Stadium.
Goalscoring midfielder Craig Parker and veteran defender Adam Tann were the latest high-profile names to leave this week, the latter choosing to retire, despite the club trying to persuade him to stay.
Goalkeeper Marcus Garnham, defenders Ryan Henshaw, Jack Wilkinson, James Baker and midfielders Erkan Okay and Rob Eagle have all sought pastures new after a dismal second half to last season saw the Yellows relegated after a single season in the Isthmian Premier Division.
“It’s about trying to convince supporters who have concerns and worries that a lot of players are leaving, that we are not sliding the wrong way,” said Godbold.
“We have taken a couple of steps back to move forwards but there is no panic or no concern.
“It’s a difficult challenge and I’ve never had to rebuild before, but naturally, every three or four years you have to do that at a club, and I am excited about the players we are talking to.”
Godbold has been left with a clutch of young players from the club’s successful academy and new signings Dave Cowley (Thurrock), Rhys Henry (Maldon & Tiptree) and Paul Walker (Haverhill Borough), as a result.
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“Someone once said you will never win anything with kids and that was the year Manchester United won the Premier League,” he added.
“We are in negotiations with four or five (more experienced) players but they have got to be the right characters as well – hard-working players who can blend well with the younger players.
“If I can’t get them over the line, I’ll be working with players that are young, keen and hungry, with plenty of endeavour and mobility.”
On the players that have left the club, Godbold added: “From our side of things, all the outgoing players were offered terms and decided not to accept.
“I think they feel they’ve got unfinished business at step three level and want to give it another go.
“They depart with our blessings and are not moving sideways.
“They want to challenge themselves.”