Keeper Darren Chitty ended his seven-year stay at Frome Town to get off to a winning start for Evo-Stik League Southern top flight rivals Chippenham Town.
One of the EVO-STIK League Southern’s most consistent keepers in recent times, the former Team Bath stopper, pictured, switched this week to play his part in Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory for the Bluebirds at Dorchester Town.
The 34-year-old left the Special Effect Stadium following a seven-day approach from manager Mark Collier. At Hardenhuish Park, he will compete with current first-choice goalkeeper Kent Kauppinen.
In a statement on their Facebook page, Frome Town paid tribute to Chitty and thanked him for his loyalty over the years before unveiling his successor.
The Robins said: “We would like to go on record and thank Darren for his incredible contribution to Frome Town over the past seven seasons in which he has arguably kept us in the Southern Premier League on more than one occasion. Darren has been one of the most consistent ‘keepers in the division whilst being incredibly loyal over the years.
“Darren, by his own admission, did not have the best of seasons last year and is maybe a bit stale. A new challenge is probably what he needs to regain his fitness, sharpness and get his hunger back. Realistically, time is running out for him to win medals so we can’t hold it against him. He is living in Chippenham now and with their considerable resources and great start to the season he feels it’s the right time to move on.”
“He will be remembered as a Frome Town legend, arguably the best ‘keeper we have ever had and a great bloke with it. Everyone at the club wishes Darren nothing but the best and he will always be welcomed here.”
As a replacement, Frome have signed Kyle Phillips from Mangotsfield Town and the statement added: “Kyle has been one of the best goalkeepers in the South & West division for the last six or seven seasons. Kyle was an integral part of the promotion winning side at Paulton and their successful first season in the Premier Division.
“He is 27 and coming into his prime – we are signing a ‘keeper at his peak and expect him to be recognised as one of the best in the division. He is a winner and demands the best from the players around him.”