Haverhill Rovers have completed the signing of Haverhill Borough skipper, top goalscorer and record appearance maker, Ryan Weaver.
The 22-year-old, who largely operated at Borough - and formerly at Haverhill Sports Association (HSA) - as a striker but was also often used as an attacking midfielder, put pen to paper on Monday.
Having played a key part in helping Borough achieve a sixth-placed finish in Thurlow Nunn League Division One last term, and fourth in the preceding season, Weaver said he felt the time was right to test himself at a higher level - having turned down the chance to join Rovers in the first half of last season.
He said: “I just thought it was time to give it a go.
“I’ve never played at that level so I thought I would give it a go.
“I played bits and bobs (for the first team) when I was at Haverhill Rovers Reserves but I would always come on for just ten minutes.”
Haverhill based Weaver started playing youth football at Long Melford before joining Rovers’ Reserve team under current goalkeeping coach Michael Bavester and Barry Duffy.
While playing for the reserves in the 2011/12 season he dual registered for HSA in what was its first year as a club.
He switched full time to HSA during that campaign and helped its rise from the Essex & Suffolk Border League Division One to promotion challengers in Thurlow Nunn Division One.
Weaver went on to play in 106 matches for Borough, 90 of them starts, scoring 61 goals, 51 of them in the league and in April overtook Ross Elkins at the top of its appearances chart.
He has also been Borough’s top scorer for the last two seasons.
Last season he netted 15 times in 38 games overall, a total that included hat-tricks in successive matches, against London Bari in the FA Vase and against Halstead Town in the league.
Weaver added: “I’m ready now. I’ve played at step six for a while and I’m looking for a new challenge, something to keep me developing as a player.
“Talking things through with (Rovers) first team manager Michael Shinn, he’s all about developing the local lads and that’s what I need, the push to do better for myself.”
Shinn said of his new signing: “I’m happy to offer Ryan the opportunity to stretch himself to the next level and his experience will also help the younger members of the team, and scoring goals is what he does.”
Looking back on his successful time at Borough, Weaver said: “I loved it at Borough. I really enjoyed it but I just thought I would give it a go and if it doesn’t work out I can always go back to Borough.
“Probably my favourite memories were when we had our FA Vase and FA Cup runs, but my favourite one personally was probably when I got a hat-trick in the FA Vase (during a 4-1 win over London Bari).”
Having moved to Rovers, Weaver admits he would prefer to play as an out-and-out striker, but would be happy to play in midfield if required.
He also has no intention of warming the bench, adding: “I’m looking for a starting position.
“One of my things was that I would be getting lots of minutes on the pitch.”
Weaver is available for player sponsorship. Anyone interested in taking up the option please contact Haverhill Rovers club secretary Julie Ankers at email@example.com for details.