Belper goalkeeper Ollie Battersby returns to Grimsby Town...but new face replaces him

Belper Town goalkeeper Ollie Battersby has returned to parent club Grimsby Town following a successful three-month loan spell – but the Nailers moved quickly to replace him.

By Mark Duffy
Friday, 7th January 2022, 1:28 pm
Updated Friday, 7th January 2022, 1:28 pm
Ollie Battersby enjoyed a successful loan spell with Belper. Photo by Mike Smith.

Sutton Coldfield Town goalkeeper Lewis Gwilliams, 29, has joined up with Grant Black’s squad after Battersby returned to the Mariners having helped Belper maintain their place in the NPL Midlands promotion pack.

And Black first paid tribute to the outgoing loanee, whose last appearance was the 3-1 loss at Ilkeston Town on New Year’s Day.

He said: “We would just like to say a massive thanks to Ollie for how he has performed and acquitted himself whilst in loan at Belper from Grimsby Town.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

"He has played a huge part in where we are currently in the table and some saves he has made will live long in the memory

"He has been a pleasure to work with and his attitude to improve and technical ability leaves me in no doubt he will go on and have a fantastic professional football career.

"We wish him and Grimsby Town success for the rest of the season and thank them for trusting us with Ollie's development.”

Black has admired Gwilliams for several years so was delighted to have brought the goalkeeper in, the majority of his career so far having been spent with Sutton Coldfield.

Black said: "We are delighted to have acquired the services of Lewis.

"He is a 'keeper who has great experience at the level and has won this league before so brings that mentality to a squad that is young overall.

"He is verbal, confident, has great distribution and fantastic shot stopper. He's also a great lad as well and will fit right in with the dressing room we have.

"Lewis has every attribute you look for when getting a 'keeper so we are over the moon he has agreed to come to us and hopefully push us on for the rest of the season.

"We can't wait to see him in the Nailers number one jersey."

Belper are without a scheduled fixture last weekend so will instead play a friendly at Shirebrook Town on Saturday.

They are back in action on January 15 with a trip to Sporting Khalsa.