It’s taken a little time to find the right fit, but Ben Chenery has finally landed himself a new number 10 in the form of an AFC Sudbury Academy star.
Ollie Dunlop, 19, has signed for Bury Town after feeling his opportunities were ‘limited’ at Mark Morsley’s fellow Bostik League Division One North side.
The academy star, who was instrumental in their quadruple trophy winning youth squad last season, found himself without a regular first team spot following a managerial upheaval at the club.
Despite signing a two year contract in May 2017, making 13 appearances and scoring two goals in the early stages of the season, he was increasingly sidelined and had been left out of the match day squad since mid-November.
The youngster, who scored 50 goals in all competitions last season for the academy sides, jumped at Chenery’s outline of his play-offs ambition when the Bury Town boss came knocking last week.
He said: “We spoke about what he wants the club to achieve, and getting to the play-offs at the end of the season.
“I’m really keen to help the team and really looking forward to playing for Bury.
“I didn’t feel I was being given the opportunity at AFC to develop and reach my full potential.
“And this is a chance do that, while playing Bostik football for a great club and re-finding the form that saw me score 50 goals last season.”
He trained with the squad for the first time last night, but may have to wait before making his debut, as he recovers from a niggling knee injury.
Dunlop said if he can’t play on Saturday, in Bury’s away trip to league leaders AFC Hornchurch (3pm), he will be fully fit for the home Boxing Day clash with Soham Town Rangers (1pm).
Chenery said of his new striker: “He fits my mould in terms of the right age and he has good pedigree.
“He plays in the number 10 role, has an eye for goal and is creative. He is a really bright talent and fits the bill, with us looking at getting more goals.”
He said Dunlop could help the side achieve his December challenge, to remain unbeaten to go into the new year in a ‘healthy position’.
“The play-offs are still there, of course. We are in striking distance,” he said.
“We are four points off and notoriously this time of year has been a difficult time for us as a football club, with the heavy pitches.
“I have set my players a challenge. We need to make sure that this December, unlike previous ones, does not prove to be a problem for us.
“Four points from two games would leave me delighted going into the two over the New Year.”
n David Cooper’s leg injury was not as bad as first feared so he could even make tomorrow’s squad, while Ricky Spriggs (knee) and Jed Wigley (ankle) remain out long-term.