Non-league: Sheffield FC new boy targets instant success

Stuart Ludlam
Stuart Ludlam
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Former Rotherham United defender Stuart Ludlam says he is ‘delighted’ to have secured a move to play at Evo-Stik League Sheffield FC next season.

The 27-year-old, who can operate at both centre-half and right-back, has dropped down a division from Worksop Town where he was captain to become Ian Whitehorne’s first signing of the summer. He has also had spells at Frickley Athletic and Stocksbridge Park Steels.

The defender has been on Sheffield’s radar for a while.

Ludlam has had offers from the club in the past, but feels he is joining at the right time. H esaid once he knew of Whitehorne’s interest a deal was quickly completed.

Ludlam has also revealed that he believes he has joined a team capable of pushing for promotion.

“I am delighted to be joining Sheffield.” Ludlam said, “It is a growing club and has an aspiration to go through the leagues.

“They have been building a squad here and have added some real quality over the years.

“I feel with one or two more additions this squad we can give it a right good go this year.

He added: “I have had a few near-misses in the past few years, but there is a good nucleus at Sheffield to get within touching distance this time around. It is a very well-run club.”

One of those near-misses was with Worksop last season. Ludlam captained Worksop to a ninth-place finish in the Evo Stik Premier Division and, after a meeting with club, decided the time was right to pursue a new challenge.

“Worksop are also a very well-run club,” he said. “They chucked a lot of money at trying to get promotion last year and for one reason or another it didn’t work out for them. After the season we had a meeting and I felt that they would fall short again this time around, and there was also the disappointment of not gaining planning permission on a new stadium.”

Ludlam started at Rotherham United before enjoying the best spell of his career with Retford United where he was a key member of the side that won back-to-back championships.

The experienced defender says Whitehorne matched his ambitions of trying to get the club into the Evo-Stik Premier.

“I have a number of friends at the club and Ian is one of them,” he said. “He has been interested for a while now and as soon as he knew I could be leaving Worksop he got in contact and I was happy to thrash out a deal. It really didn’t take long at all.

“I have always wanted to play for Sheffield,. This doesn’t feel like I am dropping down a division because I genuinely believe this club can push for promotion next season.

He added: “Hopefully I can bring a winning mentality. I have a burning ambition to do well . I have won many promotions and titles so I hope I can bring leadership and experience and help get the club to where it wants to be.”