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Telford goalkeepers to battle for No.1 shirt

AFC Telford boss Gavin Cowan expects his two new goalkeeping captures to push each other for the No.1 shirt next season.

New AFC Telford United signings Ashley Rawlins and Russ Griffiths with goalkeeping coach Darren Acton(centre) at the New Bucks Head Stadium - Picture credit: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress
New AFC Telford United signings Ashley Rawlins and Russ Griffiths with goalkeeping coach Darren Acton(centre) at the New Bucks Head Stadium - Picture credit: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress

The Bucks have brought in local lad Ash Rawlins from Market Drayton Town and Russ Griffiths, who was briefly on loan last season, from Chester.

Rawlins, from Arleston, has shone as an ever-present between the sticks for step four outfit Drayton for five seasons. Cowan believes the 24-year-old keeper has been playing ‘below himself’.

And Kent-born Griffiths, also 24, was a regular for National North rivals Chester before falling out of favour and joining the Bucks on loan in March, where he played twice before Covid-19 halted action on the pitch.

Cowan would give nothing away over who will be first choice for Telford next season.

“I’m happy with the quality,” Cowan said of his two new keepers. “Ashley Rawlins is a local lad and with the greatest respect to Market Drayton he’s probably been playing below himself.

“Having spoken to (Market Drayton chairman) Mick Murphy, he’s been their stand-out player for a number of seasons. We wanted to give him an opportunity to challenge for No.1. Russ Griffiths played 35 times for Chester last year but came out the side for one reason or another and we’ve managed to capitalise on that. He’s a very good goalkeeper for this level and someone who wants to go higher again.”

Cowan has made another summer capture in the goalkeeping department, securing the services of keeper coach Darren Acton for a third stint.

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