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Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner impressed with AFC Sudbury Academy graduate Liam Bennett in his first season with the U's




Almost a year on since he agreed a dream move from AFC Sudbury to Cambridge United, Liam Bennett is certainly making a positive impact on first-team manager Mark Bonner.

The Great Cornard-based full-back, who turned 19 in November, had been due to spend the season continuing his development in the non-league game, with U’s feeder side St Neots Town.

But with The Saints, who play at Sudbury’s level in the Southern League, having had no games since December 15’s FA Trophy exit, Bennett has been able to play in front of Bonner for Cambridge’s reserve matches. And along with regular training with the the squad who are firmly in the promotion hunt in Sky Bet League Two this season, the pacey wide player has caught Bonner’s eye.

Former AFC Sudbury player Liam Bennett has made a good impression on Cambridge United manager Mark Bonner this season Picture: Clive Pearson
Former AFC Sudbury player Liam Bennett has made a good impression on Cambridge United manager Mark Bonner this season Picture: Clive Pearson

“Liam trains with us every day so we’ve seen lots of him and he’s played against MK Dons in pre-season, the very first game we had and then was obviously playing at St Neots for most of the year,” he said of the AFC Sudbury Academy graduate.

“More recently, especially as Step 2 to Step 6 has been cancelled for the rest of the season we’ve got more and more of those (reserve) games.

“We’ve got a busy March and April for all the young pros and some of the first-team players that need those minutes to go and play.

Liam Bennett bursts down the wing for AFC Sudbury in the 3-0 league home win over Bury Town in February last year Picture: Clive Pearson
Liam Bennett bursts down the wing for AFC Sudbury in the 3-0 league home win over Bury Town in February last year Picture: Clive Pearson

“Liam has been developing nicely and playing well. He is a real hard-working player, a lot like a lot of the young boys, waiting and working for his opportunities to get around the team as close as he can.”

It will be an important few months for the former Wells Hall Primary School pupil as he looks to do enough to earn his first professional contract with United. And his former manager at Sudbury certainly believes he has what it takes.

“From a personal point of view I am really proud of Liam and I believe he has a real chance of a successful full-time football career,” said Mark Morsley, following the news of the move to the Abbey Stadium club going public last March.

Read More: Bennett thankful to AFC Sudbury for career launchpad