Shrewsbury Town splash out on Omar Beckles deal
New signing Omar Beckles is raring to get his Shrewsbury Town career under way after clocking in for what’s believed to be a six-figure fee.
The 6ft 3in centre-half yesterday became Paul Hurst’s 14th signing of the summer after penning a three-year deal from Accrington Stanley.
Beckles joins Jon Nolan, Zak Jules, James Bolton and Stefan Payne as additions that Shrewsbury have parted cash for this summer.
It is the third summer in a row that the defender has risen through the football pyramid, including a season at each of the National League South, National League and League Two.
It was playing for Aldershot in the National League that he grabbed the attention of Hurst, and Beckles is grateful for the opportunity that the Shrewsbury boss is handing to non-league stars.
“I’ve known about him and played against him while he was at Grimsby,” said the 25-year-old. “It’s great what he’s doing, he’s showing the gap isn’t as wide as some make it out, that lads in the non-league game can step up to the plate.
“He said from the get-go that it’s going to be tough. It’ll be me adjusting to the environment, it’s about me getting my fitness up where it needs to me. I’ve heard they work hard and I’m up for the challenge, it’ll make me a better player.”
Beckles, who spent time with Glenn Hoddle’s Spanish academy in Jerez after being released by Millwall as a youngster, joins Toto Nsiala, Mat Sadler and Zak Jules as centre-back options.
After watching from the sidelines in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Walsall at Montgomery Waters Meadow yesterday, Beckles is challenged with building up similar fitness levels to that of his new team-mates.
He started Stanley’s League Two season with a goal on the opening day and featured on Saturday, helping his former side to a win on both occasions.
“It’s always nice to come into a good atmosphere, it’s good spirits, you can tell at the time I’ve come in, there’s a good vibe around,” he added.
“It’s good to know we’re in winning ways – hopefully we can keep it up.”