Cresswell & Bird Join Spitfires

By Steve Whitney

Vanarama National League club Eastleigh have signed Northampton Town central defender Ryan Cresswell.

The 28-year-old made his senior debut for Halifax Town when he was on loan from Sheffield United in the 2006/07 campaign.

Cresswell (pictured) followed his brief spell at Halifax up with loan periods at Rotherham, Morecambe and Macclesfield Town before a permanent deal was struck between Sheffield United and Bury for the defender to move to Gigg Lane on a permanent contract in 2008.

In 2010, Cresswell signed for Rotherham United, making over thirty appearances for the Millers over a two-year period. He then signed for Southend, helping them to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final and was selected in the PFA League Two team of the year in 2012/13.

He signed for Fleetwood in July 2013 for an undisclosed fee, making twenty-seven appearances for the Cod Army.

In September 2014, Cresswell signed for Northampton for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract, making sixty-seven appearances for the Cobblers.

“I am delighted to sign Ryan,” said manager Chris Todd. “He is a quality defender at this level.

“He is a winner and another player who can help take this club forward.

“He is an excellent age and we have done some fantastic business”.

Todd has also signed Yeovil Town striker Ryan Bird.

Bird has only featured in one of the Yeovil`s friendly matches and with competition for striking places at Huish Park so intense, his departure was not a surprise.

Born in Slough, the 6'4" forward had spent most of his career playing in non-League football for Burnham, close to his home town, clocking up 340 appearances and scoring 113 goals across nine seasons.

During his final campaign, he netted 45 times in forty-five appearances as Burnham won the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central during the 2012/13 campaign.

Bird's late burst into life as a goalscorer came because he'd initially played as a central defender, but his prowess during that campaign caught the eye of Wycombe Wanderers and Portsmouth who both offered him a trial. Signing up for the latter, he scored three times in 25 appearances for the Hampshire club.

During his time at Fratton Park, he also played on loan for Havant & Waterlooville (three appearances) and Cambridge United (thirteen appearances, 9 goals) and the latter turned his temporary spell into a permanent deal after he left Pompey in September 2014, with his contract terminated early by mutual consent.

Signing up for Cambridge United, he played twenty-eight times for them during the 2014/15 season, scoring 6 goals. He also had a six-game loan spell at Hartlepool United sandwiched in the middle of his time at Cambridge, where he scored 2 goals.

Speaking of the move, Yeovil manager Darren Way said: "I completely understand Ryan's desire for regular first team football and his move to Eastleigh will help him to achieve that objective.

"Everybody at Yeovil Town wish Ryan all the best for the future with his new club".

Where next?

Plenty of Ins & Outs at Weston There has been substantial movement in the squad at Vanarama National League South club Weston-super-Mare this week.