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BOSTIK LEAGUE: Long-serving captain leaves AFC

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HISTORY MARKER: Sam Clarke has left Sudbury. Picture: Clive Pearson
HISTORY MARKER: Sam Clarke has left Sudbury. Picture: Clive Pearson

Captain and record appearance-maker Sam Clarke has departed AFC Sudbury.

The midfielder joined AFC from Great Wakering Rovers ahead of the 2008/09 season and he was appointed skipper just over 12 months later.

During his stint with the armband, Clarke guided Sudbury to the 2015/16 Isthmian League Division One North title, a campaign in which he also collected the Manager’s Player of the Year award.

And earlier this term he went on to make club history, surpassing Paul Betson’s previous best of 377 appearances for the King’s Marsh Stadium side.

However, having taken his tally on to 387 outings, Reading-based Clarke has now been released from his contract following discussions with the recently-appointed Mark Morsley.

The scorer of 39 goals in a Sudbury shirt has joined a number of players that have left the club since Morsley’s arrival earlier this month, including Adam Mills, Tevan Allen and Dave Cowley.

One player that will remain at AFC, though, is Tyler French.

The young defender, who has previously been the subject of interest from the likes of Ipswich Town, Crystal Palace and Leicester City among other professional clubs, has signed a new three-year contract.

Morsley told the club’s website: “I’m really pleased to get this one over the line.

“Tyler is a really great kid and one hell of a footballer.

“We had a really good, positive meeting and I have to pay credit to his agent James Wiemer, who conducted himself in an exemplary manner and was totally professional throughout the process.”

In further transfer news, Morsley has once again returned to his former club Needham Market to bolster his squad.

The new Sudbury boss had already taken Billy Holland, Joe Whight and Will Crisell from Bloomfields and now young striker Max Booth has arrived on a one-month loan deal.

Booth has replaced the departing Joe Maybanks, who made five appearances during his brief second spell with the club.