Walder turns down Hawks to stay with the Rooks

Jack Walder v Hampton Pic Angela Brinkhurst
Jack Walder v Hampton Pic Angela Brinkhurst
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Jack Walder has turned down an approach from Whitehawk and instead signed a contract with Lewes Football Club.

The news will come as a massive boost to Rooks fans as the fiery midfielder has been one of the team’s best players this season.

It reveals the level of loyalty Walder feels for the Dripping Pan club as the team from the eastern outskirts of Brighton are riding high at the top of the Ryman Premier division and look likely to be playing in the Blue Square South next season.

It also indicates the regard other clubs hold him in that the team at the very top of the table are interested in signing him.

The Hawks – who boast a number of quality players in their squad – put in a seven-day request to approach the Lewes star last week. The Rooks responded by making it clear to Walder they wanted him to stay, and entered into talks relating to a contract that would secure his future at Lewes. That has now been signed and Walder is staying with the Rooks.

Club Secretary Kevin Brook said: “Last week Whitehawk put in a seven-day approach for Jack Walder.

“We subsequently offered Jack a contract with the club.

“We’re pleased to say he was more than happy to sign a contract with us, and Jack is now contracted to Lewes.

“We want to keep our best players and Jack is massively highly regarded by everyone at the club. We’re delighted.”

Walder is available for tomorrow’s game at Lowestoft but misses the two after – Margate and Wingate & Finchley – for picking up his 10th booking of the season on Saturday. And Jon Dollery’s loan period with the Rooks is due to come to an end after tomorrow’s game. Talks are ongoing with Crawley Town about extending it but as it stands the game at Lowestoft is set to be his last for the Rooks.

Layton Shaaf is unavailable for that game as he is on holiday.

Four French players have been training with the Lewes squad, with view to being signed, although one of these – Abou Diarra, who played for the Rooks in the 6-3 win at Concord – has now signed for a club in Malta. The club has already got international clearance for the three remaining players so any decision to sign them on should be fairly straightforward.

Ringmer came from behind to beat Lingfield in the Blues’ first home game since October 27 on Tuesday. Goals came from Marc Whiteman, Tony Reid, Aaron Watson (2) and an OG.