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Ben Hunter set to complete Rick Andrews' AFC Sudbury squad after returning from Leiston



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It has been a week which has seen Rick Andrews go back to AFC Sudbury’s past to complete the squad he believes can seal the club’s return to Step 3 football.

Dave Cowley, for his fourth spell, had his return announced yesterday and today it is the turn of the Yellows' academy graduate Ben Hunter, now 22, following departing last summer to join higher-league Leiston.

The grandson of Ipswich Town great Allan Hunter, who had been a regular in Sudbury's first team since 2017/18, becomes post-season signing number eight for Rick Andrews ahead of his first solo campaign in charge at King's Marsh.

Ben Hunter has returned to AFC Sudbury following a season with Leiston Picture: Steve Screech (AFC Sudbury)
Ben Hunter has returned to AFC Sudbury following a season with Leiston Picture: Steve Screech (AFC Sudbury)

And while he admits he can ‘never say never’ to adding more, he believes he has now filled in the missing pieces of his promotion jigsaw – having finish seventh but nine points off the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division play-off places last term.

“I would say that’s it,” he told SuffolkNews.

“We have got some who have expressed interest to come to pre-season but I’m over the moon with the squad at the moment.”

Ben Hunter scored for loan club Stowmarket Town at AFC Sudbury in late January but will be back in the home dressing room in the upcoming season Picture: Mecha Morton
Ben Hunter scored for loan club Stowmarket Town at AFC Sudbury in late January but will be back in the home dressing room in the upcoming season Picture: Mecha Morton

He revealed it was third time lucky to link up with central midfielder Hunter, who was part of a Leiston side under Darren Eadie and Chris Wigger that finished seventh in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

“I tried to get Ben when he was at Sudbury when I was at Stow," he said.

“He then went to sign another year with Sudbury.

“We then took the Sudbury job and I thought ‘great, Ben Hunter’s here’ only then to find out he had gone to Leiston, which was obviously disappointing.

“Then when he became available during the season we went in for him but he choose Stowmarket and we’ve always kept our eye on him.

“He’s one I really like, he’s got good legs, he gets on the ball, he’s tenacious, scores goals and I think this is one of the biggest things we are adding this year, it’s not just the strikers, it’s the midfielders we are signing that have all got goals in them.”

He added: "He is a good character who knows the club like the back of his hand.

"And I'm excited for him because when he was last there maybe the aim wasn't what it is now, which is trying to get promotion.

"He has sort of earned his stripes and it is nice he has got the opportunity to be part of something memorable."

Along with securing Cowley's return, Andrews has also signed: Nnamdi Nwachuku (Marlow), Joshua Pollard (Coggeshall Town), Harrison Chatting (Canvey Island), Ollie Brown and Josh Mayhew (both Stowmarket Town) and Lionel Ainsworth (Heybridge Siwfts).

The club are due to return to pre-season training, initially three times a week, on Saturday, July 2.

Harlow Town are due to provide the Yellows' first pre-season opponents of six home matches the following weekend, on July 9.