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Sensation at AFC Sudbury as Mark Morsley takes over as first-team boss at the Bostik North club

PUBLISHED: 11:09 02 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 October 2017

New AFC Sudbury manager, Mark Morsley

New AFC Sudbury manager, Mark Morsley

Mark Morsley is the new first-team manager of AFC Sudbury.

Former Brantham boss Paul Skingley, now head coach at Sudbury Former Brantham boss Paul Skingley, now head coach at Sudbury

The former Leiston and Needham Market boss, who was chairman at Bloomfields this season, has quit his Needham post and takes over at the King’s Marsh Stadium with immediate effect.

It’s a sensational move by Morsley and AFC Sudbury, who were last together as a partnership almost 12 years ago, when Morsley took them to the verge of the Isthmian Premier League, after losing two Isthmian North finals. He has signed a three-and-a-half year deal.

“This has without doubt been the hardest decision of my non-League career and I can’t remember having so many sleepless nights,” Morsley said.

“My decision to step away from the dugout at Needham to take on my new role at Bloomfields as chairman was probably an error on my part. I like being involved more directly and it has been really difficult watching games from the stand.

Lee Norfolk, left, celebrates with Luke Ingram at Chatham two seasons ago after a Needham Market victory. Now he is assistant manager to Mark Morsley at Sudbury. Photo: STEVE WALLER Lee Norfolk, left, celebrates with Luke Ingram at Chatham two seasons ago after a Needham Market victory. Now he is assistant manager to Mark Morsley at Sudbury. Photo: STEVE WALLER

“It’s unfinished business for me as far as Sudbury is concerned as well.

“I had two great years there and we got into the play-off finals. A disagreement with a new budget was why I left.

“It’s a big challenge for me and people who know me, know I like a challenge.

“I had similar challenges at Leiston and Needham and I like to think I left both those clubs in a better position when I left, to when I took over.

Academy Director, Danny Laws, who has done a fine job as Caretaker boss at Sudbury. Academy Director, Danny Laws, who has done a fine job as Caretaker boss at Sudbury.

“Leaving Needham though, a club I love and all the people I’m really close to, is a big wrench for me.

“I believe I have been instrumental in driving forward the coaching at the Needham Academy and the first team management set-up is by far the best in the region. I’m sad to be leaving but I believe my legacy is something I can be proud off.”

Morsley will be joined at Sudbury by Lee Norfolk (assistant manager), Paul Skingley (head coach) and Danny Potter (remaining as goalkeeping coach), while Danny Laws continues as Academy Director, having successfully looked after the first team in a Caretaker role, after Jamie Godbold left the club.

“I still have many friends at Sudbury and I was attracted to working alongside Danny Laws again after our success at Needham a few years ago.

Heybridge's Luke Callander, left and Sudbury's  Tyler French
 battle for the ball. Sudbury have done well in recent weeks, new manager Mark Morsley will look to continue that form. Heybridge's Luke Callander, left and Sudbury's Tyler French battle for the ball. Sudbury have done well in recent weeks, new manager Mark Morsley will look to continue that form.

“There is no pressure on me or anyone at the club this season. There is a huge plethora of young players and I’ll be looking at many of them. Of course there will be changes but we’ll look what we have got here first.

“If we need to strengthen, we will.

“I have always thought Sudbury to have the best potential in non-league football in Suffolk and the region. They should be aiming for the Conference.

“But gates are down and we need to address that. That will be my first job because I like to play entertaining football. I can’t wait to get going.”

AFC Sudbury chairman Phil Turner said: “Mark is arguably the most successful non-league manager in the area and I was delighted that he wanted to oversee AFC Sudbury’s push to regain Premier Division football.

“In Mark Morsley we have a manager who has consistently achieved impressive results and gained promotion from this league on two occasions.”

Morsley will be in attendance tomorrow evening when the club host Maldon & Tiptree in a Bostik League North Division fixture as an observer and will then take full responsibility for the squad at training on Thursday and his first match in charge will be the FA trophy tie with Aylesbury United this Saturday.

Turner added: “The club are indebted to Danny Laws for the tremendous job he has done since taking over as caretaker manager and thanked him, his backroom staff and the players for their understanding and professional attitude during the recent period of change.”

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