Two new faces at Stratford Town

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2004

THOMAS Baillie has bolstered his Stratford Town squad with the additions of goalkeeper Matija Sarkic and defender Dan Preston.

Sarkic has joined the Evo-Stik South Premier Central side on a youth loan from Championship outfit Aston Villa.

The 21-year-old graduated from the youth academy of Belgian club Anderlecht before signing a three-year contract with the Claret and Blues.

He was the club’s under-21s goalkeeper for the 2015/16 campaign and in April last year he was named on the first team bench for a league game against Reading as cover for Sam Johnstone after an injury to Mark Bunn.

Sarkic then joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan at the end of August 2017.

He has also had international caps for Montenegro’s U17, U18 and U21 squads.

Baillie said: “With many matches over the Christmas period, Matija has been signed on loan to add competition to the goalkeeping position.

“Villa feel Matija has a fantastic future in the game and we are pleased they trust us to look after and nurture their aspiring talents here at Stratford.”

Town have also signed highly rated centre back Preston, who has previously played for AFC Telford United, Hereford, Tamworth and Stourbridge.

Preston started his career in Birmingham City’s academy and was part of the Blues squad which reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals in the 2008/09 season.

He was then transferred to Telford in the summer of 2011 and won a championship medal at the end of the season as the Bucks won the National League North title.

Baillie said: “I’m pleased to welcome Dan, who will add much-needed competition to the defensive positions.

“Everyone knows Dan’s pedigree and I am excited to gain his signature.”