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Former Jockey rides back into Town

GRATEFUL: Shaun Avis is thankful for the opportunity as he leaves Mildenhall
GRATEFUL: Shaun Avis is thankful for the opportunity as he leaves Mildenhall

The 25-year-old, who began the season at Step 4 side Mildenhall Town, was the subject of a seven-day approach from the Jockeys.

He made the decision to move to maximise his playing time.

Avis finished last season with Thurlow Nunn League First Division outfit Halstead Town, for whom he netted 14 goals in all competitions, before moving to Bostik League North Division side Mildenhall in the summer.

But, despite a number of appearances for the team at the start of the season, he felt his opportunities had become more limited and wanted to feature more prominently.

So when the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side came knocking, Avis felt the time was right.

He said: “I’m so thankful to Mildenhall for the opportunity and for waiving the approach too. I worked hard to prove myself at that level and just want to play more.

“It was frustrating to sit on the bench and, after talking to Kevin (Grainger) and Michael (Shinn), I liked their vision for the club. And the facilities and club community are so good too.”

The centre-forward, a former under-18 club captain at Newmarket, has played at a number of clubs in the area — including Halstead, Saffron Walden, Soham Town Rangers, Haverhill Borough and West Wratting.

And he is keen to get back on the pitch with his new club, as he recovers from a hamstring injury, and may be available for Saturday’s home game against Hadleigh United (3pm).

“I can’t wait for my debut,” he said. “And it’s a very winnable game against Hadleigh. It would be great to play and help the side get a home win.

“I’m a confidence player and I like to get involved in the box — I think I’m the sort of player they’re missing, someone who will get in there and get them a few goals.”

Jockeys’ manager Grainger will be glad to see his squad boosted, following a number of high profile departures in recent weeks.

It is the second signing by the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side’s chief, following last week’s transfer coup in landing former professional striker Omer Riza.

The 38-year-old forward, who spent last season as Leyton Orient manager, brings a lot of experience to the Jockeys, having played for Arsenal, West Ham and Cambridge United.

n The team, who lie eighth in the league, were beaten 2-1 on Saturday, away to fourth-placed Brantham Athletic.

Riza scored on his debut but was unable to prevent defeat.

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