Spalding United’s summer transfer business has taken a major knock today after defensive rock Jamie Stevens quit to re-join rivals Holbeach United.
Stevens, part of the Tulips’ UCL Premier title-winning team two seasons ago, was one of nine players that manager Pat Rayment thought he had retained for a second season in Evo-Stik Division One South.
But a lucrative deal appears to brought Stevens back to Carter’s Park, adding to managerial duo Darren Jarvis and Tom Roberts’ signings so far of keeper Ricky Drury, central defenders Jonny Clay and Chris Ward, midfielder Andy Law and right-winger Kieron Davies.
Jarvis said: “We’re very, very pleased that Jamie has decided to return to the club and any manager would love him playing for their team.
“Everybody at the club loves Jamie and, obviously, the club has a special place in his heart.
“Jamie has seen what myself and Tom Roberts are creating here and he wants to be part of it.
“We’ve signed without doubt the best central defender, bar none, in the area and we’re delighted to have him.”
Spalding is trying to make up for Stevens’ departure by hopefully landing King’s Lynn Town striker Michael Frew who scored seven goals in 40 starts for Gary Setchell’s EvoStik Premier Division outfit last season.
Rayment said: “I’m hoping to get the signing of Michael over the line after having a positive meeting with him today.
“But it’s slightly tempered by Jamie Stevens going to Holbeach United after they offered him a bolthole to run to again.
“Holbeach have blasted us out of the water with a better offer and I’m disappointed to say the least.
“But there’s no doubting that he is the best defender at Step 4 or Step 5 and I wish him all the best.
“Now I’m looking for another centre half, but you move on in football and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no way back for him here.”