Wisbech boss hails transfer coup

Wisbech boss Steve Appleby has declared that transfer coup Neal Spafford could become a new fans' favourite.

Defender Spafford was playing at step two of the non-league pyramid with Blue Square North side Gainsborough Trinity - three levels higher the Ridgeons Premier Division Fenmen.

But the 24-year-old agreed to join Appleby's outfit this week, just a fortnight after captain Paul Cousins defected to fierce rivals King's Lynn Town.

'This should give the club a boost at just the right time,' said Appleby, who played alongside Spafford at Boston Town. 'He's got a massive presence and I think the fans will love him. He's in the Cousi mould; committed and no nonsense but with a bit more about him and some pace. He will bring quality and commitment and he's got a great attitude. He likes a tackle and he likes to compete.'

The transfer coup will be a welcome relief to the Fenmen, who also lost Callum Reed to the Linnets before last season's players' player of the year Lea Jordan announced he was leaving to join neighbours March Town United.

Appleby praised the honesty of his departing goalkeeper and said he was ready to hand 22-year-old back-up 'keeper Chris Horton the number one shirt.

'Jordi is a quality lad and he's been honest and upfront, which has been appreciated, especially with what's gone on,' said Appleby. 'I've got nothing but praise for him. I've decided to give Chris his chance. He's had a few knocks but he's bounced back and he looks keen and hungry again.'

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Appleby admitted that he was still in the market for another player, with a midfielder thought to be high on his list.

He added: 'It's a ridiculous time of year. The vultures are out and you've got pressure from all sides. People will tell you one thing and then do another. The ambition of the club has been questioned over the last couple of weeks but we want to crack on. If I didn't think this club was ambitious I wouldn't be here, simple as that.'