Double-boost for St Ives Town as top defensive target and attacking midfield ace sign on for Southern League Premier Division debut season

New St Ives Town signing Liam McDevitt. Picture: DANNY LOO

New St Ives Town signing Liam McDevitt. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke reckons he has replaced one defensive colossus with another.

The Saints boss has completed the signing of centre-back Liam McDevitt from Royston Town, who will fill the void left by the loss of influential Steven Gentle in the wake of play-off glory at the end of last season.

And Marheineke has hailed his new recruit for taking a pay-cut to become part of the club’s first-ever campaign at Southern League Premier Division level.

He said: “I’m confident that Liam will prove to be the perfect replacement for ‘Gents’.

“He’s big, he’s strong and he enjoys defending on the ground and in the air.

“He’s a leader who sets a good example and will command respect just as ‘Gents’ did last season.

“And it is refreshing to know that the game is not all about money.

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“It’s pleasing to see a player prepared to take a pay-cut to take on a new challenge at a higher level.”

McDevitt (26) is the second arrival at St Ives in as many days.

He followed attacking midfielder Tom McGowan into ProEdge Westwood Road.

Huntingdon-based McGowan has spent the majority of the last two seasons playing in the Northern Premier Division with Stamford AFC.

The 24 year-old also boasts experience of Conference North football with former clubs Corby Town and Brackley Town after rising through the youth system at League One side Northampton.

Marheineke added: “Tom is another terrific capture for us. He adds great athleticism and experience to the squad as well as being an excellent footballer.

“The more I’ve spoken to him about football in recent days, the more I’ve grown to like him.

“He buys into the way we like to do things and he is a great addition for us.”

Marheineke has also signed teenage winger Joe Carden from Histon this summer.