Goalkeeper Paul Walker claims a hat-trick of double AFC Sudbury club awards after signing new contract
Paul Walker said he was genuinely surprised to continue his run of winning both the AFC Sudbury supporters’ and players’ player of the year awards at the club’s virtual presentation evening on Saturday.
The former Wales U17 international goalkeeper’s displays in the abandoned 2019/20 season ensured he completed a hat-trick of awards in both categories in his three years since joining the Yellows from Haverhill Borough.
“I was a bit surprised really,” said the 28-year-old about his name being set to go on the two trophies once again.
“I thought there would be a few contenders ahead of me, what with Liam Bennett getting his move to Cambridge and Callum Harrison scoring double figures as well as Sean Marks.
“I am really delighted to win them again.
“I did not think I would win this year because of the standard of the other players.”
It came after the former Northampton Town professional, who made four appearances for The Cobblers, committed his future to the Isthmian League North Division club by signing a new three-year deal.
“I spoke to the manager before the situation changed (with the coronavirus crisis) about a new contract,” he said, having had 12 months still to run on a previous three-year deal.
“I thought they would be retracting it with everything that has been going on so it was a no-brainer to sign it.
“The club is local to me and has great facilities.
“You are not going to get a much better club than Sudbury.
“Hopefully next season we can push on again when things get going again.”
The goalkeeper, who has had spells with Corby Town and Kettering Town, also now finds his coaching job set to cross over with Sudbury.
Along with ex-Ipswich Town academy player Hayden Ketteridge, Walker will be one of two employees from Haverhill-based Dellar Sports Coaching delivering sessions at King’s Marsh as part of AFC’s improved football in the community package.
Currently based at a school in Newmarket, he is looking forward to the challenge of expanding their work into a first football club, alongside his current work.
“We will be putting on (evening) sessions for the kids as part of a development centre, both for on-pitch players as well as specialist goalkeeping coaching,” he said.
“We will also be doing half-term camps and birthday parties.”