AFC Sudbury have signed the goalkeeper who helped knock them out of the Ryman League Division One North play-offs last season.
Ollie Bowles saved two of Sudbury’s four spot kicks during their penalty shootout against Brentwood Town, which as a result ended their hopes of promotion into the Premier Division.
The 20-year-old shot-stopper has decided to remain in Division One North for next season, and this week has been announced as AFC’s new number one.
Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold said: “Ollie is a proven goalkeeper who comes to us with a good pedigree and lots of experience at this level.
“AFC supporters will remember him as the goalkeeper who saved the penalties against us in the play-offs last season.
“On that night he was the difference between them going through and us going out.
“When I was made aware of his availability for next season it was a no-brainer to bring him in.”
Bowles joins Sudbury on a season-long loan from National League (Conference) South side Concord Rangers, and is expected to be the replacement for former AFC goalkeeper Marcus Garnham, who left to join Lowestoft Town two weeks ago.
“We’ve got no other keepers right now so at the moment he is our first-choice goalkeeper,” Godbold said.
“Ollie’s joined us on loan for the season so there would be no point in not playing him.
“He’s a very young goalkeeper who I’m pleased to give the opportunity to play for us.”
Bowles joined Brentwood on loan in the early months of last season, with a string of fine performances in between the sticks helping the Blues finish fourth in Division One North. The youngster followed up his penalty shootout heroics at the Wardale Williams Stadium with a clean sheet in the play-off final against Thurrock.
Brentwood ran out comfortable 5-0 winners to clinch promotion into the Premier Division for the first time in their history.
Bowles was among 22 players to take part in Sudbury’s first pre-season training session on Tuesday night, with Godbold expecting that number to increase in the coming weeks as they get closer to the start of the season on August 8.
n The week nine winners of the AFC Sudbury AFC Gold fundraiser are: £100 (154) C Totman, Hillside Road, Sudbury; £10 (298) Mrs B Nunn, Gatesby Meadow, Sudbury; £10 (184) D Rippingale, Bures Road, Sudbury.