AFC Sudbury have sensationally agreed to re-link up with former boss Mark Morsley - who retired from management over the summer to take on a chairman role at Needham Market - as Jamie Godbold's successor.
The surprising move, which sees the Marketmen's most successful ever boss return to the dugout just months after seemingly announcing leaving management behind, was confirmed by the club's website this morning (Monday, October 2).
It is understood that Morsley will come into the club with Lee Norfolk as his assistant manager, thus leaving his role at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Stowmarket Town, former Brantham Athletic boss Paul Skingley as head coach and ex-Cambridge United player Danny Potter remaining as goalkeeping coach.
Morsley has been handed a three-and-a-half-year contract to succeed Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds, who were sacked following a poor start to the Bostik League Division One North season following relegation last term earlier this month. The two had previously been together from 2006-2008 when Morsley resigned, having come close to getting them promoted to step three level (Bostik Premier Division) for the first time in the club's history, something later achieved under Lowestoft Town playing legend Godbold.
A statement released by the club read: "AFC Sudbury are delighted to announce they have appointed Mark Morsley as their new First Team Manager on a three-and-a-half year contract.
"The board were alerted by an article in the local press stating that following his appointment as chairman of Needham Market in the summer, Mark was missing the dug out.
"At last week's board meeting, a sub-committee were tasked with the process of making contact. When it became apparent that Mark might be interested, there was only one person the board wanted, and following that initial meeting, Mark Morsley was formally offered the position of first team manager."
AFC Sudbury chairman Phil Turner said: “Mark is arguably the most successful non-league managers in the area and I was delighted that he wanted to oversee AFC Sudbury’s push to regain Premier League (Division sic) football.
"In Mark Morsley we have a manager who has consistently achieved impressive results and gained promotion from this league on two occasions.”
The club statement added Morsley will be working closely with AFC Sudbury’s academy director Danny Laws, who had overseen a winning run only ended at higher-league Truro in the FA Cup on Saturday, and will 'embrace the club’s philosophy of giving its aspiring young academy students every opportunity to make the transition into first team football'.
Morsley will be in attendance on Tuesday evening when the club host Maldon & Tipree in a Bostik League Division One North re-arrange fixture as an observer and will then take full responsibility for the squad at training on Thursday. His first match in charge will be the FA trophy tie at home to Aylesbury United on Saturday (3pm).
Chairman Phil Turner added his thanks 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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