WEYMOUTH have moved swiftly to secure the services of goalkeeper Mark Childs for the upcoming National League South season.

Childs’ signature comes less than 24 hours after the Terras announced the return to parent club Elgin City of popular stopper Tom McHale.

Former Eastleigh gloveman Childs shone for the Terras with a sparkling display against Kettering in the Southern League ‘champion of champions’ clash.

The Poppies peppered the Weymouth debutant with a succession of shots in the 1-1 draw but the impressive gloveman rose to the occasion.

Childs saved a second-half penalty before making another crucial stop in the penalty shoot-out as Weymouth emerged 5-3 victors on spot-kicks to claim the title of Southern League champions.

Speaking to Echosport, Weymouth director of football Paul Maitland was delighted to have rewarded Childs for his display at Kettering.

He said: “With Tom’s loan period finishing it was looking unlikely we would be able to extend that or come to a deal.

“We’ve moved to secure Mark, who showed at the Kettering game what a good goalkeeper he is. He’ll have pre-season to try and nail down a number one spot – there will be some competition for him.

“We’re pleased with what we saw in the Kettering game and what we saw in training with him.

“He’s had experience in the National League with Eastleigh and he’s keen to make an impression. Again, he’s another one with the right age, good attributes and willingness to work hard and learn. We’re hopeful he’ll have a decent season with us next year.”

Childs had been due to make his debut earlier, but missed out after the Dorset Senior Cup semi-final against Poole was postponed. Work commitments also hindered the Terras’ man on two other occasions.

Weymouth then selected him against Kettering, with Maitland adding: “We were keen to see him before the end of the season. The Kettering game was a good test for him.

“It reaffirmed that he was over the injury towards the end of the season that kept him out since the beginning of April. It was nice to be able to see him in action.

“We’re pleased to get him on board. It was hard work to do but he’ll be a welcome addition, particularly with Tom’s loan coming to an end.

“We felt it was important to get a goalkeeper that, although still young, has had some experience at the levels we’re now going to be competing in.”

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