GOALKEEPER Jake Weaver has joined the Brakes on a season-long loan from Birmingham City, filling the void left behind by recently departed goalkeeper Tony Breeden.
The 22-year-old impressed as a trialist during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion under-23s, a game in which fellow arrival Ravi Shamsi also made his mark, netting both goals from the bench during the final warm-up game.
Weaver, who most recently spent time on loan at Hugerford Town, Kidderminster Harriers and Hednesford Town during the 2018/19 season, will now become Leamington’s first-choice custodian between the sticks.
Previous number one keeper Tony Breeden departed the Brakes last week following an incident during training, following which the club and Breeden mutually agreed to terminate his contract, putting an end to his time at Leamington in which he made close to 350 appearances.
Speaking on the departure of the fan’s favourite, manager Paul Holleran said: “Tony has made a massive contribution at the club and it is disappointing for both him, myself and the club that our relationship has ended in such a way.
“I know he will be fondly remembered by the fans and we cannot forget that he has been a big part of our success for many years – I wish him every success moving forward wherever that may be.”
Despite the disappointment of Breeden’s unexpected departure, Holleran was left delighted by a number of positives from Saturday’s victory, including super sub Shamsi’s impact during his first match involvement of pre-season.
“He’s been having treatment [for a groin injury] with us and we got him back training last Thursday,” he said.
“He did two sessions last week with a view to us thinking can we get him half an hour or so last Saturday – so you can see what he can do.
“We scored two and created some good chances, it was really pleasing that we were able to get 90 minutes into Kaiman (Anderson), we got Ravi and Kieran Dunbar on the pitch so there’s been lots of plusses, it’s been a really good workout for us.
Attacking midfielder Shamsi, who arrives from Maidenhead United, fired in a penalty before crashing home a 20-yard strike in the space of a minute to overturn a first-half deficit and hand Leamington a victory in their final game of pre-season.
Also involved in the game was midfielder Gift Mussa, who signed alongside Shamsi before Saturday’s friendly.
Mussa arrives from Midland Football League Premier Division side Coventry United, where he made 143 appearances, signing for the club after an impressive trial period.
Holleran confirmed a clean bill of health ahead of Saturday’s opener with Kidderminster at Aggborough (3pm), with several players making their return to training on Tuesday.