Ben Hunter leaves AFC Sudbury to test himself at Step 3 with Leiston
AFC Sudbury manager Mark Morsley has confirmed his attempt to keep Ben Hunter at the club has failed, with the midfielder having agreed terms to play with Leiston in 2021/22.
The grandson of former Ipswich Town great Allan Hunter came through AFC Sudbury's academy, being a regular in the side since the 2017/18 season.
He was one of only four players to play all 11 games in Morsley's side in the Covid-19 curtailed 2020/21 campaign and despite still being just 20 has made more than 110 first-team appearances for AFC.
But after it is understood he completed a trial spell with Leiston, playing in some friendly matches, he has decided to test himself at a higher level with Darren Eadie and Chris Wigger's side.
After revealing the news to SuffolkNews, Morsley said: "Gutted is my first reaction, but as I would have expected from a proper lad from a proper footballing family, he rung me and told me of his decision. No texting or any underhanded behaviour just a proper conversation with a lad I have the utmost respect for.
"He will be playing at a higher level and I only hope his new club realise the ‘diamond’ they are signing’."
It means Sudbury have lost the services of four players from last season's squad for their line-up for 2021/22 with goalkeeper Paul Walker and striker Sean Marks having retired while Kane Munday has signed for Stowmarket Town.
But on the flip side, 18 players have resigned for the club, including five academy players being promoted on completing their scholarships.