Future of Brig defender Heaton still up in the air

Josh Heaton
Josh Heaton
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Josh Heaton’s immediate footballing future is uncertain after his proposed move from Bamber Bridge to Darlington 1883 broke down last week.

The Brig central defender looked set to sign for the National League North outfit after the two clubs reached an agreement over his transfer.

However, the 20-year-old – who signed a one-year contract with Brig earlier in the summer – has failed to agree personal terms with the Quakers and as it stands, he remains a Bamber Bridge player.

In a further twist to the tale, Heaton sustained a broken collarbone while playing in a pre-season game for Darlington last week.

That means he will be unavailable for the opening few weeks of the season and could mean that Brig are due compensation should he remain at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

“It’s all a bit of a mess to be honest,” said Reynolds.

“Darlington came in for Josh and he has spent all of pre-season with them, which we were happy about.

“It’s a chance for Josh to play National League North football. We are happy about it because it shows that we as a club are capable of generating players who are capable of playing higher.

“I spoke to their manager Martin Gray and our chairman spoke to their chairman.

“We agreed a small fee and a sell-on clause and also a pre-season friendly, which is good for us because they have a good following. But the deal has broken down due to the financial details they were were offering Josh.

“They did not offer what he was looking for or what he thought was feasible especially with the amount of travelling which will be involved.

“Josh has indicated that the move could still happen, so we are waiting to see what happens.

“We are happy to have Josh back because central defenders, who are 6ft. 5in. tall with pace, who are good on the ball and who are good in the air – they are hard to find.

“Our problem is that he has broken his collar bone which means he is not going to be available for the first four weeks of the season.

“He sustained that injury while playing for Darlington – it had nothing to do with us, soI need to find out where we stand on that.”

Despite the saga surrounding Heaton, Reynolds is still pressing ahead with his side’s pre-season preparations.

With less than a fortnight to go to their opening NPL First Division North League fixture at Radcliffe Borough, Brig will face Longridge Town away on Tuesdaynight before welcoming Lancaster City to Irongate on Saturday.

Last weekend, they defeated Barnoldswick Town by the odd goal in five.

“People will expect us to beat Longridge Town, but it won’t be easy,” Reynolds said.

“Their manager Lee Ashcroft will be looking to put one over us.”