Spalding United boss Pat Rayment has declared himself ‘ecstatic’ after sealing a deal to bring former Arsenal youth talent Julian Kelly to the club.
Kelly, who agreed terms with the Tulips on Wednesday morning after protracted negotiations, has already been labelled the club’s ‘greatest ever signing’.
Equally adept at right back, left back and on either flank, the 24-year old made seven appearances for Championship side Reading having left the Gunners aged 16.
He then moved on loan to Wycombe Wanderers and Lincoln City, before moving to Notts County – where he scored four goals in 54 appearances.
However, Kelly fell out of love with the game and took a year away from football after a trial with Grimsby Town last September.
Rayment battled with Conference sides to secure his signature – and is convinced that the Tulips will help him rediscover his appetite.
He said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. He has to be the biggest signing in the history of the football club.
“I have the same feeling as when we tempted Lee Canoville to the club, only this has taken things up another notch.
“He’s got huge pedigree having played for Reading and Notts County and I love his versatility.
“Julian is looking to get back into the Football League and hopefully we can help him do that.
“He wasn’t enjoying his football, but we’ve managed to sell the club to him and he’s signed a one-year deal.
“It’s a mutually beneficial deal I think. He gets to find his feet again and we send out a message to the rest of the league that we mean business.
“I certainly think this will raise eyebrows.”
Kelly is Spalding’s fourth signing of the summer, following Kern Miller, Gareth Jellyman and Nick Conroy to the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.