Ridgeons League side sign new keeper - without seeing him play!
A GOALKEEPER who emailed every Ridgeons League club in a search for first team football has been handed the job of keeping Felixstowe & Walton United in the Premier League.
Dan Heath’s debut has been put on hold as the winter weather continues to decimate local football, but United boss Kevin Witchalls is set to hand him the No. 1 jersey – even though he has never seen him play!
Witchalls admits the new signing is based purely on Heath’s CV which includes short spells at AFC Sudbury, Barton Rovers and Eastwood United from the Blue Square Bet South.
The manager said: “If he is good enough to play at the level he has and been signed by these type of clubs, he is good enough for us. I have signed him very much blind but he comes recommended and is well known in junior ranks.
“With the predicament we have been in, and the way we have been conceding goals, something had to be done.”
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Witchalls revealed that Heath, frustrated at not getting regular first team football, had emailed every club in the division and believes the club were fortunate to secure his signature.
He will be hoping a new man will bring a change of fortune in goal after Liam Jones broke his leg and three other keepers have failed to stem the goals against. In the last half-dozen matches, Felixstowe have conceded 20 goals and the six let in against Walsham le Willows last time out was seemingly the last straw for the manager.
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Heath, 20, started off at Cambridge United and had spells with Cambridge City before making one appearance for AFC Sudbury in their Suffolk Premier Cup defeat against Bury Town in October.
He has since played Step Five football for Deeping Rangers in the Hereward Teamware United Counties Premier League. He was due to make his Felixstowe debut last week at home to Haverhill but a frozen pitch put paid to those chances. Tuesday night’s Ridgeons League Cup match against Clacton, and Saturday’s visit to Newmarket Town, went the same way meaning Heath has to be a little bit patient.
The snow has been something of a double-edged sword for Witchalls, meaning his injured players do not miss as many games but also seeing the fit ones lose some match sharpness.
Skipper Matt Ryland is in the former group after it transpired the centre back had been playing with a chipped bone in his ankle. The influential defender had initially thought it was ligament damage sustained in the FA Cup against North Greenford United in September.
But he was again forced off in last month’s win against Great Yarmouth Town and his prognosis has worsened – Ryland will now not be back on the pitch until 2011.