Bury sign former Town right-back

BURY Town boss Richard Wilkins has finally got his hands on former Ipswich Town right-back John Kennedy after missing out on the experienced defender 12 months ago.

With James Scowcroft still undecided about his footballing future and Neil Andrews struggling to be fit for the start of the season with a recurring knee problem, Kennedy answers Wilkins’ SOS for an experienced head.

The full-back played eight times for Ipswich in the late 1990s before impressing in non-league football with Canvey Island, Histon and Cambridge City. And he will be joined at Ram Meadow by 24-year-old midfielder Stephen Smith, a product of Cambridge United’s youth set up who made more than 60 first team appearances for the U’s.

Wilkins said: “We have been after John for a season or two and his experience will help us plug any gulf that might be caused by Neil or James.

“Stephen played a lot of games for Cambridge but then drifted out of the game. But we have had some good reports about him and he has got his hunger back. We wanted to bring in quality players with the right sort of pedigree and John and Stephen both fit that bill.”

Wilkins also wished well departing Scott Chaplin and Ashley Sloots who have left Bury to join Needham, saying: “Scott has been a very good servant to the club but he needs to be playing regular football. I am a little disappointed by Ashley as he had spent a long time out injured last season and we have looked after him and spent a lot of money on medical fees. We wanted him to come back and prove himself in pre-season but he has decided to leave.”

As well as signing the Bury duo, Needham have also brought in Gavin Johnson, after the former Ipswich Town and Colchester United man joined from Walsham-le- Willows, Hadleigh skipper Duane Wright, Ryan Foster from Norwich United and Soham Town leading goalscorer Deakan Napier.

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With last season’s keeper Danny Gay departing for, as yet unknown, pastures new, Needham boss Danny Laws has also moved quickly to sign a replacement – former Ipswich Town youth and reserve player Andrew Plummer.

In what has been a frenetic few days, Needham have also released Ben Wake, Michael Steward and Rhys Henry while Christy Finch has returned to Lowestoft.

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