Former Football League star signs for Gainsborough Trinity as two join and four leave

Gainsborough manager Dominic Roma.
Gainsborough manager Dominic Roma.

Two players with Football League experience have joined Gainsborough Trinity ahead of Saturday’s match against Tamworth.

Midfielder Matt Sparrow, who played almost 450 matches for Scunthorpe United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Crawley Town and Cheltenham Town, signed after a spell in Australia with Sorrento.

Worksop-born winger Matthew Templeton, 19, at the other end of his career, has signed on loan from Barnsley and will add to the National League North side’s squad after Darnelle Bailey-King broke his shoulder while playing for Rotherham United’s youth team during the week.

Sparrow’s league success included scoring the opening goal at Wembley in a 3-2 win over Millwall that saw Scunthorpe promoted to the Championship. He also helped Brighton to a promotion.

Manager Dominic Roma said: “I’ve pursued Matt for a while now, (but) getting the clearance has been more difficult than I’d have imagined.

“I’m sure he will complement the young side Fozzie and I have assembled. He will come in, be a voice on the pitch, pull us around and organise us.

“That’s something we have identified as needing and are delighted to have him on board. The youngsters will certainly learn a lot from someone who has been there and done it — and that can only be a good thing for Gainsborough Trinity Football Club.

“As soon as we were made aware that he was returning to England, we put the wheels in motion to entice him to Gainsborough. In fairness to him, that wasn’t too difficult as he already has a good understanding of football in the local area and the standard we are playing at.

“Even at 35, he has looked after himself well and comes here in good physical condition. He may take a little time to reacclimatise to the English conditions, but I know from conversations he’s ready and raring to go.”

Templeton, who was part of Barnsley’s first-team Championship squad last weekend, can play on the wing or at full back.

Roma said: “Matthew is a young, hungry professional that has recently had a taste of first-team football with high-flying Barnsley and comes to us looking to play regular football and develop as a player. He’s a versatile young lad and that flexibility will give us options in the coming weeks.

“He has a good engine, gets up and down the wing well and, despite his tender years, has the ability to tuck in. That will help when we need to become more compact.

“The signing of Matthew became more of a necessity with the news that Darnelle Bailey-King broke his shoulder, leaving him facing a prolonged period on the sidelines.”

Players leaving Trinity include Jonathan Hedge, who has taken up a coaching positon at Barnsley, meaning he is no longer available as a player.

Jake Scott has signed for Shaw Lane after having his contract mutually cancelled and Jacob Hazel has signed on loan for three months with Farsley Celtic.

Liam Davis has joined Cleethorpes Town FC with Trinity saying work commitments playing a large part in his decision.

The club said: “All departures go with our well wishes and we thank them for their services to the football club over varying lengths of time.”