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Paine set to play for AFC Sudbury in Ipswich Town glamour friendly



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Billericay Town’s treble-winning captain Matt Paine is set to play for AFC Sudbury against Ipswich Town tonight (7.45pm) – but has said he is looking to trial for another club before deciding on his future.

WAITING GAME: Matt Paine has impressed for AFC Sudbury in pre-season but will be considering his options after playing for another club this weekend Picture: Phil Morley
WAITING GAME: Matt Paine has impressed for AFC Sudbury in pre-season but will be considering his options after playing for another club this weekend Picture: Phil Morley

AFC boss Mark Morsley admits the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, who left Boreham Wood for Glenn Tamplin’s side a year ago and has experience of non-league’s top tier from his five seasons with Braintree Town, would be a fantastic addition.

Paine became available after turning down the chance to go up to National League South with Billericay due to how the increased travelling would impact on his day job in the police force.

But with AFC’s sole trialist having told him another club, who he intends to play for on Saturday, have put forward an appealing deal in financial terms, he is not pinning all his hopes of achieving promotion at AFC this season on attaining his signature.

Tuesday’s 4-2 home defeat to Paine’s former club Braintree was the third match the seasoned pro has donned the yellow shirt.

AFC Sudbury v Harlow Town. AFC Sudbury manager, Mark Morsley. (3063758) Picture: Phil Morley
AFC Sudbury v Harlow Town. AFC Sudbury manager, Mark Morsley. (3063758) Picture: Phil Morley

“It would be a big boost,” admitted Morsley. “He brings that bit of experience and he is still a very good player and a very good lad who has got a presence.

“It would be very good for us but if he does not sign it won’t be a disaster as we saw in the second half (against Braintree) when he wasn’t playing that our young side did very well and drew 1-1, which was very pleasing.”

Morsley was delighted with how his squad competed against a strong Braintree side, with AFC taking the lead through Panashe Mundawarara in the 20th minute after the youngster punished a wayward backpass, though The Iron scored twice to lead at the break.

The visitors scored twice more before the hour mark with AFC pulling one back through Ollie Gravett 16 minutes from time.

Match action from AFC Sudbury v Harlow Town on Saturday as Daryl Coakley bends in a free-kick. Picture: Phil Morley
Match action from AFC Sudbury v Harlow Town on Saturday as Daryl Coakley bends in a free-kick. Picture: Phil Morley

Morsley had started the summer wanting to add to his pool of strikers, but with the emergence of academy players Mundawarara and Gravett in pre-season, he is now happy to go with what he has got.

He also described the displays of fellow academy players Baris Altintop and Joe Grimwood as ‘off the scale’ and said the competition for senior squad places is now really heating up ahead of tonight’s test with Ipswich. The Championship club have not confirmed who will be taking the side in the dugout with it down as an ‘Ipswich Town XI’ but it is believed new first-team manager Paul Hurst will be present to run his eye over some options.

* AFC, who lost Saturday’s home friendly with Harlow Town 3-1 (Jordan Blackwell) are due to continue their build-up to the season with a trip to Newmarket Town on Saturday (3pm) following by a home game with Stowmarket Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).

* The Bostik League fixtures were announced last Thursday with Sudbury opening up their North Division campaign at Tilbury on Saturday, August 11 (3pm) while their fixture at Mildenhall Town on August Bank Holiday Monday means they will play Dean Greygoose’s side twice in three days, having hosted them in the FA Cup on the Saturday. They will also entertain Mildenhall on Boxing Day and head for Bury’s Ram Meadow on New Year’s Day.