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Thurlow Nunn League Stowmarket Town bring in Ryan Clark from Walsham-le-Willows

Ryan Clark will be 'going home' after his nearest club, Stowmarket Town, announced they have agreed to sign him from Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division rivals Walsham-le-Willows.

It sees the attacking midfielder re-united with Stow's assistant manager Paul Musgrove, who brought him to the Willows three years ago when he was the number two to Paul Smith at Summer Road.

The player who made 126 appearances for Walsham in that time, scoring 26 goals, has higher-league experience with Bury Town and has also played for Felixstowe & Walton United when they were at Stow's current level.

Walsham-le-willows, Suffolk. 15 September 2018 ..Football action from Walsham-le-Willows v Deeping Rangers - Ryan Clark ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (4188571)
Walsham-le-willows, Suffolk. 15 September 2018 ..Football action from Walsham-le-Willows v Deeping Rangers - Ryan Clark ..Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (4188571)

Musgrove, speaking to the club's website, said of Clark's arrival: "Ryan fits the type of player going forward that we need.

"I signed him for Walsham when I was there and he's a Stowmarket boy as well, so I'm pleased to bring him to the club."

After Stow reached the last 64 of the FA Vase for only the second time in their history with Saturday's 3-1 extra-time home win over Baldock Town, Clark will be unable to play in their tie at Swaffham Town in the next round, which is set to take place between Suffolk and Norfolk's last remaining sides on Saturday, December 1 (3pm), following yesterday's draw.

The Pedlars currently play a league below in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North where they are currently fourth in the table and have already beaten Framlingham Town, Haverhill Borough and May & Baker to get to this stage of the Vase.

But the club have said that, subject to paperwork going through, he should be available to make his Old Gold and Blacks debut in Saturday's home game against Brantham Athletic in the Premier Division (3pm).

* We reported last week that striker Andrew Wood had left Premier Division Thetford Town, and he has now signed for divisional rivals Brantham Athletic, making his debut for the Imps on Saturday. Brantham have announced this morning that their manager Matt Carmichael, who last week took up sole charge following co-manager Michael Brothers departing to play for Bostik League Maldon & Tiptree, has also left.

Stowmarket Town v Thetford Town. Rick Andrews. (3433740)
Stowmarket Town v Thetford Town. Rick Andrews. (3433740)

* Meanwhile, Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews, who recently hit the 250-game milestone as first-team manager, has agreed to extend his stay at the club by another two years.

Andrews initially took over on an interim basis back in early 2013, along with Ricky Licence. After taking over the role permanently at the end of the 2012/13 season, Andrews has overseen a hugely successful period in the club's history, including winning the First Division title in 2016/17 and finishing third in the Premier Division with more than 100 points last season.

Andrews' current agreement with the club was due to finish at the end of the current season, but, following talks with the board this week, the club has announced has agreed to extend his stay until the end of the 2020/21 season.

"I have always had an excellent and open relationship with the board," Andrews, speaking to the club's website, said.

"We had a gentleman's agreement which was due to finish at the end of this season.

"After very brief discussions we have agreed to extend this for a further two years. I'm very happy to commit my services to the club.

"It's a great, family club that is going in the right direction both on and off the pitch, and long may that continue. The support we are getting is fantastic and makes the job very enjoyable."

* For more Stowmarket Town reaction, see Friday's Bury Free Press.

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