EXCLUSIVE: Bury Town stars take step down to sign for Stowmarket Town

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Bury Town's top goalscorer Josh Mayhew and rising star Ryan Yallop have both signed for Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division new-boys Stowmarket Town.

Striker Mayhew, who has previously won Stowmarket's new division with Hadleigh United, was the Blues' leading goalscorer last season in Ryman League Division One North, hitting the net 17 times in all competitions from his 24 starts (40 appearances in total), despite an injury-interrupted campaign.

Highly-regarded full-back Yallop, meanwhile, started six matches and made six substitute appearances for Ben Chenery's side in a campaign which saw him captain the Suffolk FA Under-18s side and receive the Suffolk FA Under-18s Player of The Year award the weekend before last.

The departures are set to be a further blow to Bury Town's plans ahead of their 2017/18 Bostik League (as the Ryman League is now known) season, with the Blues having already lost winger or forward Remi Garrett to Stowmarket and with just Ollie Hughes left as a recognised number 9 striker.

But Stowmarket's aspirations of a second successive promotion, following winning the Thurlow Nunn League First Division title last season, are set to be enhanced by the two latest additions in a busy summer at Greens Meadow.

Manager Rick Andrews told the Bury Free Press he was over joyed to land the signatures of both players following Tuesday's training session.

"We are delighted to get the pair of them." he said.

"I genuinely think Ryan can go on and play at levels a lot higher, and hopefully, with Lee Norfolk, our first-team coach, will get the best out of him.

"He is only going to learn and get better and better.

"Josh Mayhew agreed to come on board following Stevey Holder going to Newmarket.

"We wanted to bolster the attack again and I know Josh over the years - he is a friend of my son - and we have always said we would like to team up one day."

With both surprise additions, choosing to play a level down, he added: "Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to go forwards."

* For more reaction, including from Bury Town's management, don't miss Friday's Bury Free Press print edition.