Ford opts to stay with Great Yarmouth after signing is announced by Gorleston

Recently appointed Great Yarmouth Town manager Rob McCombe Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Recently appointed Great Yarmouth Town manager Rob McCombe Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Great Yarmouth Town youngster Josh Ford has opted to stay put - after being unveiled as a new signing by neighbours Gorleston.

Greens' boss Stewart Larter clearly believed he had the defender on board for the new Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division campaign when he tweeted: "Delighted to announce a new signing for Gorleston FC in Josh Ford - has very good experience for a young player, will strengthen the team and very much looking forward to working with him."

But the Bloaters, who had nutured Ford through their youth system and handed him his debut at senior level, clearly had other ideas and the following day replied: "Following a 'signing' tweet from another club during the week, and discussions with our manager Rob McCombe, we are delighted to announce that Josh Ford has committed to the Bloaters for the 2019/2020 season."

Recently appointed boss McCombe added on Twitter: "Great to have you 'back' Josh! Looking forward to working with you again this year!"

McCombe said the whole affair had taken him by surprise - but is now looking to put it behind him.

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"When I saw Stu's tweet it came as a big surprise - we had no idea Josh was thinking of moving on," he said.

"So I contacted the lad to speak to him about the situation and asked him if he had actually signed anything yet - and he said no.

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"It was then a case of trying to get him to stay put and I was delighted when he decided to commit to us.

"It was an unfortunate situation. Josh made a mistake and put himself and the club in a difficult position - but he is still young lad and providing he learns from it that's fine.

"I have been in touch with Stu (Larter) to explain the situation and now I think it is time for both clubs to move on."

McCombe is now fully focused on getting his squad prepared for a new campaign in the second flight of the Thurlow Nunn League.

Training gets under way next week and the pre-season fixtures start in early July.

Meanwhile the early round FA Cup and FA Vase draws are to be released by the FA in the week beginning July 8.

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