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Marc Abbott signs two-year contract extension with AFC Sudbury after ‘inspirational’ management leads Yellows to Step 3 survival





AFC Sudbury manager Marc Abbott has been hailed as ‘inspirational’ by the club’s board who have rewarded his work in his first season with a two-year contract extension.

The 38-year-old former Haverhill Rovers and St Neots Town boss was appointed last June to lead the Yellows in their first campaign back at Step 3 of the non-league pyramid.

It came after Rick Andrews had walked out following achieving promotion via the play-offs after claiming the player budget had been cut by ‘more than 40 per cent’ on the previous season.

AFC Sudbury manager Marc Abbott led the Yellows to Step 3 survival despite operating on a reduced budget Picture: Mecha Morton
AFC Sudbury manager Marc Abbott led the Yellows to Step 3 survival despite operating on a reduced budget Picture: Mecha Morton

All but a few players from that side also departed as the club looked to become more financially sustainable and prepare for the possibility of having to replace the surface of their 3G pitch.

It left Abbott to have to rebuild the squad on a reduced budget with many believing they were destined for relegation from the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

But despite having six points taken off their tally in January, as a result of Nuneaton Borough’s results being expunged following their financial collapse, the Yellows managed to confirm their survial on the final day following three wins from their last four games.

Marc Abbott, who has previousy managed Haverhill Rovers and St Neots Town, seen on his appointment at AFC Sudbury last summer Picture: Steve Screech/AFC Sudbury
Marc Abbott, who has previousy managed Haverhill Rovers and St Neots Town, seen on his appointment at AFC Sudbury last summer Picture: Steve Screech/AFC Sudbury

And a statement from the AFC Sudbury board of directors has praised Abbott’s work as well as revealing he has accepted their offer of a two-year contract to secure his services for the next couple of campaigns as par of a ‘three-year plan’.

It read: “Just 10 days on from ‘that weekend’ of hopes, fears, nerves and finally elation, the board would like to formerly thank and congratulate our Men’s first team for achieving its objective of consolidating its position at Step Three. This is a historic high point for our club, never having achieved this level of men’s football before.

“We would also like to single out Marc Abbott for his professional, methodical and humble leadership of his management and playing team. His presence, demeanour and work-rate at our club has been an inspiration to all our staff, players, volunteers, students and supporters. His charming family have been most welcome too.

“We would also like to acknowledge that this historic success comes at the end of a season in which we chose to make significant changes to the way that our Men’s first team operates. Marc had the confidence, capability and conviction needed to accept that challenge when others did not. This reset makes his and his team’s achievements all the more impressive.”

It added: “These changes were part of a coherent three-year plan to transition the club to one which can both compete at its highest ever levels whilst also expanding the breadth of its inclusivity.

“Marc has completed an exceptional ‘probation period’ during the first of these three seasons, and the board is delighted to announce that he has accepted a two-year contract.”

Abbott, who now works as an academy coach at Arsenal, having arrived at Sudbury as Cambridge United’s elite scholarship manager, said: “Firstly, I would like to show my appreciation to the club for showing strong loyalty, integrity, and confidence in allowing myself to lead the club into season 2024/25 and beyond.

“In what was a challenging, but successful season, this brings stability to the football club to achieve our next target at Step 3. #

“Since arriving at the club, I have been made to feel valued by the board and supporters which I feel can strengthen over the coming seasons.

“This opportunity will not be taken without the continued hard work, commitment and strong work ethic I shall continue to deliver, where I am extreamly excited to build on the momentum we gained in ensuring survival was met last season “

The club statement finished by saying: “Marc has also consistently and generously acknowledged his appreciation for the role played by our supporters in what will go down in club folklore as ‘the great escape’. We second that, especially given some of the distances and commitment required over the full season. Now, we go again; together.

“A full, club-wide, End of Season Statement will follow soon.”

It comes after the club’s CEO Patrick Bell praised the academy’s players and staff for landing two national cups on the same day.