Young hailed as best keeper in Hawks’ history 

Goalkeeper Ryan Young has departed the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland
Goalkeeper Ryan Young has departed the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland
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A familiar face will be missing from the Hawks’ ranks for the visit of Gateshead in the National League on Saturday (3pm).

Ryan Young departed Westleigh Park earlier today after signing off his contract.

The experienced goalkeeper made more than 200 appearances for the club after arriving from AFC Telford in July 2014. 

Young has been virtually ever-present between the posts during his time at the Hawks and played a key role in their rise into the National League. 

But Ben Dudzinski has dislodged him as No1 stopper, prompting him to leave Westleigh Park.

Lee Bradbury lauded the impact Young made at the Hawks and regards him as the best keeper in the club’s history.

The  boss said ‘I am gutted because Ryan is one of the best signings I have made. This was a tough decision for both the club and the player.

‘He has been a big character around the club and one who always wears his heart on his sleeve.

‘His vocal personality will be missed. In my eyes, he is the best goalkeeper this club has ever had.

‘He has been a big, physical presence, very experienced and an outstanding shot-stopper.

‘The club owes him a lot and both have been good for each other.

‘At this moment in time, though, I feel that Ben is ahead of him. I have to make the best decision for the club.

‘Ryan has been frustrated at not playing the past four or five games. He is a winner and finds it hard to play second fiddle.

‘At 37, he wants to be playing and I appreciate that.’

Young's replacement Dudzinski produced an outstanding performance at Wrexham last weekend.

But, despite his efforts, Bradbury's team suffered a 1-0 defeat.

The Hawks sit in the National League relegation zone and look to avoid a fourth successive home defeat against Gateshead.

Although encouraged by his team’s performances, Bradbury admits the Hawks must start putting more points on the board.

And that could mean the boss making new signings. 

Bradbury added: ‘We have been playing to the best of our ability without winning games. 

‘I may have to bring in some new faces to start getting us over the line.

‘If we are to stay in this league we must turn it around. We need to stop conceding silly late goals.'

Bradbury is boosted by the return of Paul Robinson from injury and also has Jordan Rose and Dan Strugnell back in contention.

Rory Williams (hamstring), Mike Carter (ankle) and Wes Fogden (knee) are still missing.