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AFC Telford to land defender Lewis Earl on loan

AFC Telford United are poised to finalise a loan deal for Stockport County defender Lewis Earl.

Lewis Earl (credit - Kieren Griffin Photography)
Lewis Earl (credit - Kieren Griffin Photography)

Teenager Earl, 19, has just penned a one-year deal at National League Stockport after leaving former club Preston, and will immediately be loaned out to Gavin Cowan’s side.

The Bucks boss has been trying to boost his defensive ranks and Earl has been on trial at Telford during pre-season. He started in the back three during last weekend’s friendly win at Market Drayton and came on as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat to Shrewsbury Town.

Stockport revealed the versatile defender would spend the first half of the 2021/22 season on loan at the National League North Bucks.

And the move is expected to be formally completed today (Thursday), subject to paperwork. Earl is a right-footed defender who can play in the backline or as a defensive midfielder.

Cowan said: “Lewis is versatile, he plays as a defender but also as a midfielder as well, so we are really lucky.

“I’d like to give a real huge thanks to Stockport, who have seen the bigger picture, from a financial perspective they’ve recognised that and allowed us to bring a player of his quality in.

“It makes our squad even more competitive and gives us strength in depth as well, so we’re really pleased.”

Earl joins Ross White, Theo Streete and Zak Lilly as options to play in Cowan’s back three but the boss remains on the hunt for another centre-half, after the Bucks were knocked back by several other targets this summer.

Cowan added: “We do need that centre-half and a left-sided player as well, we’re hoping to bring in one or two, there’s no panic. I’m happy with the group at the moment and we showed how competitive we can be (on Tuesday), but we’re certainly in the market.”

Telford led and competed well in their entertaining defeat against League One Town this week in front of 1,200 fans. The match saw the return of Steve Cotterill to the Shrews dugout and was a tribute to Steve Jagielka, the former Salop and Bucks man who died this year.

Cowan said: “It was a really great, fitting occasion to remember his name. I was really pleased to see some ex-Telford players come to watch.”

Telford have confirmed an England under-19 women’s friendly against the Czech Republic at the New Bucks Head on Friday, July 30 (11.30am kick-off).

Five hundred tickets are available on sale now.

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