Goalkeeper Putnins leaves Lowestoft to return to Great Yarmouth

Keeper Elvijs Putnins has left Lowestoft Town to rejoin Great Yarmouth Town Picture: SHIRLEY D WHITL

Keeper Elvijs Putnins has left Lowestoft Town to rejoin Great Yarmouth Town Picture: SHIRLEY D WHITLOW - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth Town have brought goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins back to the club on the eve of the new Thurlow Nunn League campaign.

The 28-year-old Latvian has left neighbours Lowestoft Town, who play three steps higher up the league ladder, to rejoin the club he last played for two years ago.

Putnins was part of the side that finished fifth in the Premier Division and will now be a key figure as the Bloaters bid to return to the top flight following relegation.

Putnins, who was under contract at Lowestoft, had been a regular for the last two seasons and helped the Trawlerboys to a respectable mid-table finish in the Southern League Premier Central Division last term under Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds.

Putnins has played for a wide range of clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, where he was named on the bench by Neil Warnock in the Premier League, and now lives in Great Yarmouth.

"It's the signing we have been chasing," said Bloaters' manager Rob McCombe. "Elvijs has played at this club before and brings with him a wealth of experience, ability and professionalism which will be invaluable to us. This will give everyone a boost."

McCombe said there would hopefully be "further confirmations of new signings to follow" ahead of the Division One opener at Ipswich Wanderers tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

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The Bloaters have another away game at new-boys Sheringham next Tuesday evening (7.45pm) before hosting Wellingborough Whitworths in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday week.

Pre-season preparations were wrapped at the weekend with a promising 0-0 draw against top flight side Norwich United at The Wellesley. The previous Thursday the Bloaters had won 4-1 at Anglian Combination outfit Stalham Town.

After over three months off, competitive football returns to Emerald Park tomorrow with Gorleston hosting Ely City in their opening top flight match (3pm).

Not only can supporters enjoy getting to grips with several new law changes, they also have the introductions of sin-bins to look forward to.

Ely finished last season third from bottom, just three points behind Gorleston, and the two sides shared a win apiece in their matches last year.

On Tuesday night, the Greens play their first away match of the season when they make the short trip to Norwich United. The Planters finished nine points ahead of the Greens last time around but couldn't get the better of them on the pitch, with Gorleston winning one in the league and one in a cup and drawing the other league match.

Gorleston's final pre-season friendly was the annual encounter with Lowestoft Town for the Sailor Brown Trophy on Tuesday evening.

An even first half saw Gorleston equal to their visitors, who play two levels higher on the football pyramid.

Lowestoft had the better of the opening period of the second half and took the lead on 61 minutes through a low drive from Macintosh which found the bottom corner. Eleven minutes later a Lopez header from a corner made it two.

Gorleston created some chances and a combination of good goalkeeping and bad luck kept the ball out of the net.

At the final whistle it was Lowestoft with their hands on the Sailor Brown Trophy again.

The Reserves don't begin their season until August 17 and they continue their warm-ups with a trip to Acle tomorrow, following on from a very impressive 5-0 victory over Anglian Combination Premier Division side St Andrews last week.