Mark Morsley says Ipswich Town have 'hugely' let AFC Sudbury down after loaning players to Bury Town first
AFC Sudbury manager Mark Morsley has hit out at Ipswich Town for what he sees as a one-way relationship between the clubs.
He has decided to go public on his frustration after alleging he was told, as part of a publicly announced partnership, they would be at the front of a queue to get loan players, only to see rivals Bury Town now loaded up with three promising talents.
His captain Joe Whight’s absence with a broken ankle, coupled with Harry Critchley’s extended trial with Fulham, led to him having to play teenager Lewis O’Malley out of position at left-back for Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Cambridge City.
“We miss Joe Whight hugely and we have been hugely let down by Ipswich Town,” he said.
“I have to say if young Tommy Smith has got a career in the pro game then don’t go in the press and start making comments about other local football teams, like he did about not coming to Sudbury and going to Bury.
“That relationship with Ipswich could have helped us out and it was there to do that, and they haven’t done that again.”
Bury St Edmunds-raised left-back Smith, speaking to our sister title the Bury Free Press, had accentuated his local roots with his new loan club by saying there was ‘no chance’ he was picking Sudbury over Bury after both clubs came in for him.
Ipswich, Suffolk’s only professional club, publicly announced a special partnership with AFC Sudbury ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Morsley said it currently sees Ipswich provide players who have not quite made the grade to continue in their elite academy develop in Sudbury’s Eastern Junior Alliance sides (U13-U16) ahead of deciding whether they have progressed enough to take them back in.
“We are improving their players. They use the facility here as well,” he said.
“I have been told by Ipswich Town, and I am not going to name names, that we would be the first stop for loan players and in three seasons I have not had one loan player. And I have seen them go to Bury, Leiston and Lowestoft.
“For me it is like saying Britain have got a special relationship with Russia, rather than America; there is nothing coming our way.”
He added: “Why are three loan players going to Bury Town?
“Why is a football club who get players from our football club through our youth set-up and use our facility not giving us loan players?
“I think it tells you the sort of football club Ipswich Town are. It is a huge disappointment.”
Ipswich Town were contacted for comment but did not provide a response.
But on Friday, Bryan Klug, the club's head of coaching and player development, spoke to TWTD and the EADT at length to say Morsley's comments were 'wide of the mark'.
In response to Klug's interview, Morsley tweeted back the below: