Ollie Canfer returns to boost Bury Town from Stowmarket Town as fellow striker Darren Mills announces his retirement
Experienced forward Ollie Canfer has ended his third spell at Stowmarket Town to return to boost their Pitching In Isthmian League North Division rivals Bury Town.
Canfer announced his injury-forced retirement from playing in October 2017, aged 29, following two years at Bury where he made 43 appearances, scoring 13 goals, though not having managed an outing in 2017/18.
But after a short spell as assistant manager at Debenham LC, he was able to reignite his on-pitch career with home-town club Stowmarket ahead of the 2018/19 season.
The now 34-year-old attacking midfielder or striker, who had signed for Bury from rivals AFC Sudbury, also went on to have spells with Mildenhall Town and Felixstowe & Walton United before heading back to Stowmarket for a third spell this summer. He leaves having scored three times from 12 starts for the basement dwellers.
Bury’s assistant manager Paul Musgrove told the club’s website of the player who helped Hadleigh United and then Stowmarket to Step 5 titles: “Ollie was a player we had identified that we wanted to bring to the club.
“He has plenty of experience of this level having played in this division for a number of years now.
“We spoke to Ollie in the summer but were not able to get it over the line on that occasion, but we have been able to now and I am delighted that he will come into our squad and give us a much-needed boost with his experience and his quality.
“We are continuing to shape the squad as we would like and identify areas that we need to improve.
“Adding a player with the ability of Ollie to the squad is certainly a step in the right direction and myself and Cole (Skuse, manager) look forward to working with him.”
He added: “We are all aware that recent results have not been to the high standard we set ourselves and the management team and players are all working hard to improve our performances and league position.”
Canfer has been cleared to make his second debut for Bury away at Maldon & Tiptree this afternoon as the Blues look to respond to Tuesday’s 6-2 defeat at home to Basildon United which left them 14th in the table.
It comes after striker Darren Mills revealed via social media his third spell at the club has come to an end after just one substitute appearance, scoring a 97th minute equaliser in a 2-2 home draw with Gorleston on October 10.
He was since troubled with an achilles injury, despite being named as an unused substitute a number of times.
The 34-year-old posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “So it wasn’t to be, this turned out to be my last goal in blue @BuryTownFC not how I wanted to retire but I’m more than proud of what I’ve done!
“This goal and it’s back-story certainly defines what I can only describe as a rollercoaster career! Thank you ladies and gentlemen.”
Meanwhile, bottom club Stowmarket Town revealed Canfer’s departure comes as three other players have effectively moved on.
Two of those, in summer signings from AFC Sudbury Academy Dylan Kirk and Tom Chilvers, could return though having signed dual registration deals with lower-league clubs Thetford Town and Framlingham Town respectively,
Recent addition Ollie Sims’ short spell with the club has permanently ended though as the former Colchester United Professional has returned to his local Step 6 club, Cornard United.
A statement revealed management team Richard Wilkins and Alex Rossis are waiting to speak to potential new recruits in their bid to battle relegation, which is now down to one place following East Thurrock United’s withdrawal.
It read: “Stowmarket Town is undergoing significant changes in its squad. Players Dylan Kirk and Tom Chilvers are now dual-registered with Thetford (Town) and Framlingham (Town) respectively.
“Ollie Sims has made a move to Cornard United and Ollie Canfer to Bury Town.
“We extend our best wishes to them in their new ventures.
“Meanwhile, some squad members have been unavailable due to illness or work commitments.
“Our management duo, Richard Wilkins and Alex Rossis, are working to identify and sign new talent.
“They are currently respecting the 7-day approach period with clubs before engaging with potential players. Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments!”
Stowmarket are due to play away to fifth-placed Walthamstow this afternoon.