There is no doubt that losing arguably the best goalkeeper in the top-flight is a savage blow to Whitchurch Alport but they moved quickly to announce the capture of promising youngster Jack Atkinson, who has signed from Welsh Premier division side Bangor City.

Atkinson played in some of Alport’s pre-season and was due to start the campaign in the side at Northwich only to be snatched from under the club’s noses by Bangor, but he has now returned.

The club were understandably thrilled to land the teenager who is expected to go a long way in the game.

“Whitchurch Alport are delighted to announce the signing of goalkeeper Jack Atkinson,” said a club spokesman.

“Jack, 19 years old, will be no stranger to the Red Army after being involved last summer during pre-season and impressing in Dave Parton’s absence.

“A promising youngster, Jack came through the Shrewsbury Town ranks before joining at Yockings Park in 2019 during the summer,” said a club spokesman.

“Following a good offer at the end of pre-season, Atkinson joined Bangor City.

“However, he has now been given a great opportunity to become the number one here at Whitchurch Alport and build on the great impression he made last summer here.”

As the in’s and out’s continued to be fed to the club’s loyal supporters, Sam Phillips was one that no-one could have foreseen as he was one of Matt Burton’s first signings.

Alport attempted to get the 22-year-old in the summer but were unsuccessful and Phillips’ move is one that dreams are made of.

He moves immediately and has swapped rainy Shropshire for much sunnier climes opting to make the move to CD Almuñécar in Spain.

The club spokesman continued: “Despite only being at Yockings Park for a couple of months it has always been his ambition to get back into full-time football and this is a unique opportunity he has been offered.

“In recent weeks Phillips had begun to make a big impression at Yockings Park so it will naturally be a big blow for Burton’s squad for the remainder of the season.

“However, as a club and we’re sure on behalf of all supporters we wish Sam all the very best in this great move and chance for his career.”

It’s been an unprecedented week in terms of transfer activity almost replicating pre-season dealings rather than mid-season.

But Burton and his staff are already looking for players to bolster the squad for the remaining 12 games.

Atkinson was due to go straight into the team for last night’s (Tuesday) game and it’s hoped that there will be a signing or two ahead of this weekend’s rearranged league fixture at home to Skelmersdale United.

The match is sponsored by supporter Michael Reeves and the game gets underway at 3pm.