BOSTIK LEAGUE: AFC Sudbury boss completes eighth summer signing

ALL SMILES: AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold is delighted to add Julian Smith to his squad
ALL SMILES: AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold is delighted to add Julian Smith to his squad
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Defender of midfielder Julian Smith, who has impressed on trial, has agreed a permanent deal to become AFC Sudbury's eighth new signing ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

Smith, who was previously with AFC's divisional rivals Harrow Borough before the Suffolk side's relegation from the rebranded Bistik League (previously known as Ryman League) Premier Division, has earned himself a place in Jamie Godbold's new-look squad after impressing in both of the Yellow's pre-season friendlies as far.

The player who started out at Watford before establishing his non-league career with Rayners Lane, was the unnamed trialist who wore the number six shirt in the 4-1 victory over Haverhill Rovers and then the five one in the 3-1 home victory over Ipswich Town on Wednesday evening.

Godbold announced Smith as his eighth signing of a busy summer, which comes following 12 departures, at a weekend training camp at the Crowne Plaza Five Lakes complex at Tollesbury, just outside Colchester which served as a team bonding exercise.

Describing him as the player who has most impressed him in their warm-up games so far, he said: "After impressing in our opening pre-season fixtures, I am delighted that Julian has accepted our offer to play for Sudbury this season.

"He has fitted into the group extremely well and is an important part of the team we are looking to build."

Smith's confirmed arrival follows those of Rhys Henry (Maldon & Tiptree), goalkeeper Paul Walker (Haverhill Borough), Dave Cowley (Thurrock), Joe Claridge (Maldon & Tiptree), Adam Mills (Maldon & Tiptree), Lheureux Menga (Harrow Borough) and Jake Turner (Brightlingsea Regent).

Turner's former club, Brightlingsea, who won promotion to the Bostik Premier last season, are AFC's next scheduled friendly opponents, and first away fixture, on Friday (July 21, 7.45pm).

The Yellows will then continue their build-up to the 2017/18 Bostik League Division One North campaign by hosting Cambridge City a week Tuesday (July 25, 7.45pm) before a trip to Premier Division side Leiston, the new club of Rob Eagle and Marcus Garnham, on the following Saturday (July 29, 3pm).

* See Thursday's Suffolk Free Press print edition for the best AFC Sudbury news round-up and interviews.