Ross Stearn makes permanent Twerton Park return

Jerry Gill has added a familiar face to his ranks by re-signing fans’ favourite Ross Stearn from Sutton United, subject to completion and submission of the appropriate paperwork by both clubs. The midfielder enjoyed an eight-game return on loan at the start of the year, scoring twice, and passed a century of appearances overall during this stint, having previously represented the Romans between 2013 and 2015.

Since first departing three years ago, Stearn helped Sutton to promotion in 2016, before being sold to National League rivals Eastleigh midway through the next campaign. He then returned to the U’s almost exactly a year later, before an injury resulted in his productive spell at Bath. Gill was keen to extend this further, but a recall from his parent club prevented this.

With Sutton missing out on promotion in the play-offs, the Bristol-based winger has no reservations about dropping a level, and is keen to impress, having signed a two-year contract.

“It was no hesitation at all (about signing)” confirmed the 27-year-old. “When you look at what the club has planned, and where they’re going, I feel it’s the best option for me to bounce back to the level above. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging at the top end of the table.”

Stearn’s attitude has impressed Jerry Gill: “It’s really good to get Ross Stearn back in. First and foremost, he’s a winner. He’s got a hunger and desire to win every week. His whole package, as a person, as a player, as a character, buys into the way we want to go. It’s really good to have him on board and I’m looking forward to him starting the season with us.”

Gill also added that eight pre-season friendlies have been arranged, which will be announced in due course.