Barnstaple Town sign Appledore midfielder Niall Heeney


Barnstaple Town have signed Niall Heeney ahead of the new Toolstation Western League season.

The midfielder, who played for Appledore in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League last term, has impressed in both Barnstaple’s pre-season friendlies.

Heeney was the Fishermen’s penalty king in 2014-15, scoring more than 10 times from the spot.

Barnstaple captain Aaron Harper-Penman was pleased with the new signing’s performance in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Exmouth Town.

“Niall Heeney was very impressive again and a lot of the new players did well,” said Harper-Penman, who took charge in the absence of manager Barry Yeo and assistant Karl Baggaley.

After fielding many new faces in their victory against Launceston, Town welcomed back a host of usual squad players on Saturday but could not show the clinical touch that took them to the First Division title last season.

“We were very wasteful in front of goal,” said Harper-Penman. “But I can’t fault the players because they played well and the scoreline didn’t reflect the game.

Harper-Penman used to manage a youth football team and his natural leadership skills make him ideal for the captaincy role which he relishes.

“It’s all part of being captain and I like to be involved with the club as much as possible,” said Harper-Penman.

Team-mate Steve Holland, who holds a Uefa B licence, is also adding coaching duties to his playing role.

“Luke Evans is unable to fulfil his coaching and physio role from last year so Stevie has been taking a lot of the training sessions,” said Harper-Penman.

“Its been tough and we’ve done a lot of fitness but Steve really knows what he’s doing. It’s great to have him as a player and coach.”

Barnstaple’s next friendly is at home to Wellington on Tuesday (7.30pm).



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