GOALKEEPER Reece Francis has agreed terms to make the move from Cadbury Athletic to Bromsgrove Sporting.
The 24-year-old shot-stopper, formerly of Pilkington XXX, becomes Paul Smith’s fourth signing of the summer after agreeing to depart Athletic who finished the Midland League Division One campaign in fifth place.
Francis, who had a spell at the now defunct Causeway United when he was 16, will be a familiar face among the Sporting fans having played under Keith Draper and Graham Scott when they were in charge at the Victoria Ground.
With right-sided Jordan Jones, left-back Josh Quaynor and former professional footballer Joe Ward already agreeing to join Sporting – who will be playing in the Midland League Premier Division next season – Francis is hopeful of guiding the club to more success.
“With the signings Paul (Smith) has made already I cannot see why the lads can’t prove themselves to the football world once again,” he told the Standard, exclusively.
“Hopefully we can be pushing up the high ends of the table as well as going on a good FA Vase run.
“And who knows, this time around the team can get a good run in the FA Cup too.
“I’m delighted to have agreed to join and I cannot wait to get started and give my very best for the club.”
Sporting boss Smith revealed to the Standard he had tried to sign Francis at Christmas last year but the Athletic keeper wanted to stay loyal to his club.
“Reece, in my opinion, was the best keeper in the league (Division One) last season,” Smith said.
“I was a little bit disappointed at the time when he refused to join but when I look back now at that decision, it told me a lot about the type of lad he is.
“He is a top keeper, a good lad and very loyal.
“I honestly think he has all the attributes to be one of the best, if not the best, in our league (Premier Division) too next season.
“I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Despite turning down Sporting last year, Francis was happy Smith had come back in to sign him for the upcoming 2017/18 season.
“Sporting got me on the footballing ladder and I can’t wait to be back,” Francis added.