Whitby Town keeper Shane Bland has rejoined the club this week in a dramatic U-turn which has delighted fans.
The 18-year-old reconsidered an expected move to America – and Blues boss Darren Williams wasted no time in persuading the talented shot-stopper to return to Whitby,
But he had to move quickly before a wealthier club could “snaffle” him first.
Wiliams said Bland – who was runner-up in the club’s website player of the year award – had his head turned by the prospect of a trans-Atlantic move, but realised there were other opportunities right at home.
“Shane’s agent and myself have spoken to him and spoken to his parents,” said Williams.
“He wasn’t really 100% convinced it was the right move [going abroad].
“He messaged me on Sunday to say he wasn’t going and that he was considering staying in England so we jumped on the case to get him as there were a couple of teams interested in trying to snaffle him.
“We had no hold over him as his contract was cancelled.”
Williams and club treasurer Andrew Spenceley worked hard behind the scenes this week and managed to convince Bland to “get back on board.”
“Shane gets on well with the lads and some of the others look after him with lifts as he doesn’t drive.
“He is a good keeper and they are few and far between.”
Bland has just Tweeted: “I am not going to America no more due to personal issues,
“I’m very proud and happy to sign a new deal with @TurnbullTweeter #bigyearahead”
In a further boost, fans’ favourites Dave McTiernan and Kev Burgess have also pledged their future to Whitby Town.
Williams added: “They are very loyal to the club and good friends. It is pleasing to have them on board and they typify what the word loyalty means.”
The gaffer has been critical of some of the attitudes of recently departed players and stressed he only wants players who are 100% committed to helping to get the Blues promoted to the league above.
“We won’t push the boat out for anyone who wants to leave as it puts the club in a difficult position financially,” he said.