Leamington bolster goalkeeping ranks with raid for former Ram

Ross Atkins
Ross Atkins

Leamington have strengthened their goalkeeping options with the signing of former Derby County youth Ross Atkins.

With current number one Connal Trueman’s loan deal set to expire next month, Brakes boss Paul Holleran said Atkins’ arrival was the conclusion of an extensive search to find a permanent successor to Tony Breeden.

“The reason Tony Breeden was offered such a good deal by Solihull in the summer is that good goalkeepers are hard to find,” said Holleran.

“With Mats Morch going down the way he did, Connal was something we did quickly and a favour from Birmingham City.

“We’ve been scouring around for a while now and we always knew we’d need to bring someone in.

“Ross has got excellent pedigree and experience and is a good pro. He’s played for Derby’s first team and a lot of games at League Two and Conference Premier level.

“He’ll fill the void left by Tony.”

Atkins has been turning out for Northern Premier League Division One South side Gresley, but boasts a wealth of higher-level experience having been spent loan spells at Kiddeminster, Southport, Tamworth and Burton Albion while at the Rams.

Capped at under-18 and under-19 level for England, the 25-year-old made 45 appearances for League Two side Burton Albion in 2011/12.

He is expected to go straight into the side for Saturday’s Conference North trip to Brackley with Trueman suffering from a slight shoulder injury.

Holleran is also close to finalising a deal for an experience Conference North player, while Goddard is available after a broken nose.