Star shot-stopper Ash Rawlins returns to Market Drayton from AFC Telford

Market Drayton Town will be in safe hands next season following the return of goalkeeper Ash Rawlins.

Market Drayton Town keeper Ash Rawlins
Market Drayton Town keeper Ash Rawlins

The Greenfields outfit have pulled off a key signing by enticing the former fans’ favourite back to the club following a spell with AFC Telford United.

Rawlins, 25, previously spent six years at Drayton where he established himself as one of the top shot-stoppers in the area before joining the Bucks.

But he has now opted for a return ‘home’ in order to play regular first team football.

Rawlins is manager Richard Brown’s first summer signing as he starts to put together his squad for next season’s Northern Premier League West campaign.

“Ash is a fantastic goalkeeper and his signing sets the benchmark for the squad that we are assembling ahead of the 2021/22 season,” said Brown.

“It’s something we have been working on for a while.

“But with him still being at Telford and playing in those three trial games that they had, I think he wanted to see what his chances were with Telford next season.

“Obviously he as had a conversation with their manager and with regards to Telford it didn’t suit him because he wants to play football.

“He has been a big miss for Drayton over the last 12-18 months.

“Ash was at Drayton a long time prior to moving to Telford and had lots of trials at different clubs.

“Everyone at Drayton and in the Shropshire area rates him very highly.

“With us losing last season’s keeper Sam Agius, it left a bit of a gap that need filling quickly.

“So to have Ash back is really good news.”

Chairman Mick Murphy is delighted to welcome back the talented keeper.

He said: “Ash has consistently shown, season after season, that he is one of the top goalkeepers, if not the number one, playing in the Northern Premier League. I am absolutely delighted that he has returned to Market Drayton.”

Drayton and Rawlins will face new opposition next season after the FA’s restructure of the non-league pyramid saw them moved to the Northern Premier League West.

“It’s going to be a tough league but it’s an exciting challenge and one I am looking forward to,” said Brown.

“There are a couple of long trips – Workington and Kendall – but most of the others are in and around Manchester and Liverpool and from where we are that’s not too bad.

“We will be going to places like Marine and City of Liverpool. Marine played Tottenham in the FA Cup last season and some of these clubs play in front of gates of 400-500.

“That is going to be something new for our players.”

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