Goalkeeper Steve Oliver pleased to be joining Barnstaple Town’s charge


STEVE Oliver believes momentum could keep Barnstaple Town charging forward.

The former Bideford goalkeeper has stepped down two divisions to join Town in the Toolstation Western League.

But he believes that, with the progress his new club has made, the gap between North Devon’s leading club could close.

“I don’t think we are quite ready to challenge for the league title,” said Oliver, 32. “There is no pressure and the aim is to consolidate.

“But we had a similar position at Ilfracombe Town and, with the momentum we had, it never really stopped. So, you never know.”

Oliver was with Barnstaple’s management team Barry Yeo and Karl Baggaley in the Ilfracombe Town squad who achieved two third-place finishes in the Toolstation Premier Division between 2008 and 2010.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Bagz and Yeoy and I know a lot of the players,” said Oliver.

“It’s a good group of young lads and, from what I’ve seen in pre-season, they’re a really good footballing team.

“All we are going to have to adapt to is the physicality of the league. Other than that, I know we won’t fear anyone.”

With a seven-week-old daughter, Oliver wanted to relieve himself of the travel demands facing Bideford in the Evo-Stik League Southern.

“I have always wanted to play as high as I can but it seemed like a good time to step down,” said Oliver. “With my family and the travelling, it was just too difficult.”

He was part of the Bideford side who finished eighth in the Southern Premier – a club record – in 2013-14 and paid tribute to manager Sean Joyce.

He said: “Sean is really good to work with and I have a lot of respect for him.

“He has an unbelievable record with Bideford and it makes you wonder where they would be without him.

“I’m proud to be part of the team that helped Biddy to their highest finish.”


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