Goalkeeper leaves Newmarket less than a week after signing

SWIFT EXIT: Niall Conroy poses with the Newmarket goalkeepers shirt that he will never wear after joining Cambridge City.
SWIFT EXIT: Niall Conroy poses with the Newmarket goalkeepers shirt that he will never wear after joining Cambridge City.

A bizarre turn of events has left Newmarket Town in the hunt for a new goalkeeper.

It seemed last Wednesday that The Jockeys had filled that particular void with Niall Conroy’s arrival from neighbouring Soham Town Rangers.

However, less than a week after putting pen to paper on a deal at The Ridgeons Stadium, the 24-year-old informed manager Kevin Grainger on Monday he had accepted an offer to join Cambridge City.

“Niall was a really good signing for us, which makes the situation all the more disappointing,” said Grainger.

“He lives in Newmarket and so everything seemed to fit.

“But that is football. If he has been offered silly money elsewhere, good luck to him.

“It is only one league higher and there is much more travelling, but that is up to him.”

Now, the focus has switched to securing a swift replacement for Conroy.

Grainger has been in talks with two goalkeepers, with the boss hopeful a deal will be struck at some point next week.

“Niall is a very good goalkeeper and he may have ended up doing this midway through the season, which would have been a nightmare,” added Grainger.

“It is better it has happened now. We have time to find another goalkeeper.

“Trying to sign one during the season is tough because nobody wants to let the good ones go.”

On more of a positive note, Grainger has boosted his attacking ranks with the signing of Joe Bennett from Potters Bar Town.

Bennett has previously turned out for Ashford Town (Middx), Hampton & Richmond Borough.

n Newmarket begin their pre-season fixtures on Tuesday at home to Braintree Town (7.45pm).

Peterborough Sports (July 14), Mildenhall Town (July 18), Cambridge City (July 21), Soham (July 25) and Cambridge United (August 1) will also visit The Ridgeons Stadium before the season gets under way.

All of those matches kick off at 7.45pm, with £5 entry.

n Under Thurlow Nunn League proposals, Newmarket’s chances of gaining promotion to Step 4 next term will double.

Due to planned changes higher up the pyramid for 2018/19. Thurlow Nunn League officials are planning for both the Premier Division champions and runners-up to be promoted and four teams to be relegated, subject to ratification from the Football Association.

n In the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup, The Jockeys have been handed a bye in the first round.

In the second round, they will travel to Haverhill Rovers on October 31.

Newmarket were beaten 2-1 in last season’s final by Mildenhall Town.