Spafford signing is a coup for Fenmen

Neal Spafford
Neal Spafford

WIsbech Town have pulled off a major signing with central defender Neal Spafford agreeing to join for the coming season.

Fenmen boss Steve Appleby has moved quickly to find a replacement for skipper Paul Cousins, who has left for King’s Lynn, and reached agreement with Spafford over the weekend.

Spafford, a 24-year-old, was at Blue Square Bet side Gainsborough Trinity last season and looks a very good capture for the Fenmen.

He previously had spells with Boston Town, Bourne and Grantham. In 2010 he was also loaned out by Trinity to EvoStik League Division One South side Brigg Town.

As well as playing in the middle of defence, he is also comfortable at right back where he played most of last season for Trinity under the managership of Brian Little, once in charge of Aston Villa.

Appleby said: “I played with him a few years ago and once I knew he was available I knew he was the player for us. He is very committed like Cousie but with more pace and I am sure he will be a favourite with the fans.

“He can virtually play anywhere across the back four. He is big and strong and competes well in the air but can also play good football with good distribution. He also brings the experience of playing at Step 2 level football for the last three seasons.”

Appleby added: “Losing Cousie was not a major problem as he missed 10 games at the end of last season when we were unbeaten and Cartwright, Reeve and Fairweather were marvellous.

“But Fairweather misses the first five weeks of next season so we needed to bring someone in and Spafford is a very good signing. Cartwright and Fairweather can also play in midfield.”

Appleby has made just two signings so far with Liam Nimmo alongside Spafford but is also keen to make further additions to his squad as soon as possible.

He continued: “I would also like to sign a flair midfield player who can score goals to replace Callum Reed and also another central midfield player to give us more competition in that area.

“Things have been a bit more hectic than I expected recently but I am sure we will get there.”

l Wisbech fans will get their first chance to see Spafford in action in the first of six friendlies when Andy Furnell brings his Soham Town side to the New Fenland Park on Saturday, July 16.

Other friendlies arranged for Wisbech are: Tuesday, July 19 March Town (a), Saturday, July 23 Holbeach (h), Saturday, July 30 Boston United (h), Tuesday, August 2 Blackstones (h) and Saturday, August 6 Spalding (a).

The Ridgeons League season starts on August 13.