Bostik League North Division side Mildenhall Town sign goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe from Diss Town
Ricky Cornish has made his first signing as Mildenhall Town manager with the arrival of goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe.
The 21-year-old has signed on at Recreation Way from Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side Diss Town, where he played alongside Cornish until he took the Mildenhall job just before Christmas.
Hayhoe's performances for the Tangerines following his switch from AFC Hoxne in October 2017 have earned widespread praise, although he is well aware his move to Mildenhall may still have raised some eyebrows.
However, the former Bury Town goalkeeper is confident in his ability to be a success between the posts at Step 4 in the Bostik League North Division.
"When people see Mildenhall are signing a goalkeeper from two leagues below they might think what is all that about? It is like Ipswich Town signing a League Two goalkeeper and I get that," he said.
"But I have worked hard to get here and it is an opportunity I could not pass up. I am more than confident that I am good enough to perform at that level.
"I did not play much at Bury because I was young and Marcus Garnham was their 'keeper then, but I learned a lot training with those players. Richard Wilkins was the manager at the time and he told me I would benefit from sitting on the bench and watching how they worked – he was right.
"I am really looking forward to getting going with Mildenhall. I have heard it is a great club and one I have always thought I would like to play for one day."
A leading factor behind Hayhoe's self belief is his recent weight loss – something that Cornish encouraged during a pre-season discussion between the pair at Diss.
Hayhoe has managed to lose almost four stone since the summer and he is feeling the benefits out on the pitch.
"Me and Ricky have the same type of character and we got on well at Diss. It is actually down to him that I lost the weight," he added.
"He took me to one side and said while he thought I was a good goalkeeper, I could be even better if I shed some weight. I admire him for having the balls to say that and he has been right.
"I changed my diet, my training routine and now I am around four stone lighter. I am able to get to balls I probably would not have got to before. I can jump higher and get down to things quicker. It has improved me, no doubt about it."
* PREVIEW: Cornish looks ahead to Mildenhall's home against Witham Town on Saturday.