Mike Barton has ended speculation about his immediate future by agreeing to sign for Four Crosses.
The former Technogroup Welshpool boss, who quit last week after a fall-out with its hierarchy, has decided to take a step back from management and has answered a call from Four Crosses manager Nick Popyk to become their back-up goalkeeper.
Popyk, whose side is in red hot form in the Spar Amateur League second division, will be left without a goalkeeper when his No 1 choice and club captain Chris Ellis becomes unavailable for January so former Newtown stopper Barton has agreed to fill the void.
“Some may feel that I'm taking a risk bringing somebody in who has managed at a higher level to play under me but Mike is no big time Charlie and did something similar when he went to play in the amateur league for Llansantffraid shortly after his spell with Caersws,” said Popyk. “I have had extensive chats with Mike and will obviously listen to any advice or input he may have but I do that with every player. At the end of the day I am the manager and I decide whether or not I take it on board.”
Popyk believes he has the best goalkeeper in the league in Ellis but views January as a crucial month in pushing on for promotion and says the capture of Barton sends a strong message about the club’s intentions.
“I wouldn't even look for another keeper other than the fact Chris is going travelling immediately after Christmas,” he said. “But I can't afford to go into any game in January without a top keeper so obviously when Mike said he is looking to stay involved in football I have jumped at the chance to sign a replacement of his calibre. Mike will be a great signing for the Crosses. All the lads are looking forward to him joining and he is up for the challenge, we are pleased to have him on board and we are sure he feels the same.”
The Foxen Manor side ended its interest in recruiting Scott Bright from Welshpool, and has lost Dan Jay to Meifod which will add some spice to this weekend’s match between the two. On a positive note, Mike Bebb has rejected Meifod’s advances after they placed seven days on him and Mark Dutton will not now be leaving the area for the Isle of Wight after Christmas.
Popyk said: “While the club is obviously sorry for Mark that his relocation is not going through just yet, we are delighted that he will be with us for the remainder of the season because he is a massive player.”
Report courtesy of http://www.mywelshpool.co.uk
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