Blues stopper pens new deal

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FRICKLEY Athletic goalkeeper Ben Simpson has penned a two-year deal with the club.

The 25-year-old was a star performer for the Blues last season, establishing himself as the club’s number one stopper, and has been rewarded by manager Peter Rinkcavage with a new deal.

Rinkcavage said: “Ben has been superb since I came to the club. He had waited a long time for a chance in the first team and when it came he took it, literally, with both hands.

“He is 6’3”, can kick the ball for miles and he is a great shot stopper but what stands out above all that is he is a great character to have around the club.

“For a young goalkeeper he is very passionate about the game and his own performances. He is one of the rare goalkeepers who sticks his hand up if he has made a mistake, but he is also not afraid to voice his opinion in the changing room if he feels people are not pulling their weight.”

The Blues boss added: “I believe the lad can play higher than this level if he continues to develop like he has in the last year. It is a little known fact that last season we had the second best defensive home record in the league. Only Halifax let in less goals than us at home. Given our final league position that is remarkable and much of it was down to Ben. If we were a pro club the contract offered to him would have been for three or four years given how highly we rate him.”

Simpson initially joined Frickley in August 2009 from Brigg Town and played regularly at the start of the season until suffering an injury which saw Adam Nicklin reclaim the goalkeeper’s jersey.

But he returned to the club in March 2010 and was the club’s first-choice goalkeeper from mid-September last season, and made a number of important saves to help the club avoid relegation.

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.