Bury Town make two key additions ahead of FA Cup and Suffolk Premier Cup encounters
With two key players now set for operations, Bury Town have softened the blow ahead of their Emirates FA Cup opener tomorrow with a pair of signings that can ably cover both positions.
Captain Ollie Fenn (ankle) and Ryan Stafford (groin) are set for lengthy absences but versatile former professional Carlos Edwards’ departure as Woodbridge Town manager has seen him commit full-time to the Blues.
At the same time, Ben Chenery has tied up a deal to sign AFC Sudbury Academy graduate Baris Altintop following a spell as his unnamed trialist in recent pre-season friendlies.
The 19-year-old, predominantly a centre-back who can operate at right-back, carried the armband for AFC Sudbury last season during Joe Whight’s long-term injury absence, with his 37 appearances topping the club’s charts. In total he has made 76 appearances for Bury’s divisional rivals in less than two complete seasons.
Ahead of kicking off their 2020/21 campaign with tomorrow’s FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at Northamptonshire lower-league side Cogenhoe Town (3pm), Blues boss Chenery said: “They are two big signings and complement our squad well, considering we have a couple of injuries.
“Baris fits the profile of players we wish to bring here in terms of his age, his legs and his physicality and I am glad he has decided to join us.
“He played a lot of Step 4 football last season and you can see that in the way he reads the game, and he is only going to get better.”
Former Ipswich Town captain and Trinidad & Tobago international Edwards is the other end of the age spectrum but stood out in his six appearances from February, making himself available to help soothe friend Chenery’s injury crisis headache.
“I am really pleased he is here to start the season with us,” said Chenery, following Woodbridge releasing a statement saying splitting his time with Bury led to their decision to appoint a new manager.
“He will be good for us, giving us a senior head on the pitch. He always looks like he has more time than anyone else and at the age of 41 he is (still) a very fit young man.”
With all their players passing a coronavirus test, following last Tuesday’s precautionary call-off having faced Walsham-le-Willows, Bury were able to conclude their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 defeat at higher-league Needham Market in mid-week.
“It was a really good game against a really good Needham Market team which is what we needed as unfortunately we didn’t play the Braintree game and weren’t able to train on Thursday,” said Chenery, who rested Jake Chambers-Shaw (ankle) for tomorrow’s game while Norwich City loan goalkeeper Joe Rose was absent after being called back to train with the first team due to international call-ups.
Of their FA Cup opposition, Chenery said: “They’ve got nothing to lose and will be right up for it and we have to be at our best and treat them with respect. If we are not we’ll catch a cold up there.”
On Tuesday Bury’s delayed Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final against Lowestoft Town will take place at Felixstowe & Walton United FC (7.45pm).
“It is a wonderful game to have and I’m looking forward it,” he said. “Also, the draw hasn’t been that kind to us this year so I want to try and win it but it is a tough game, Lowestoft. We have two big games in the space of a small space of time so my job is to utilise the squad as best as possible.”
Bury will enter the 2020/21 Suffolk Premier Cup in the second round, on October 6/7, and host the winners of the first-round all Step 3 tie between Needham Market and Leiston.