Ryan Wombwell has become Jason Ainsley’s second signing of 2023 after the Club paid an undisclosed fee to Gateshead for the talented young defender.
The versatile 21-year-old is most comfortable in the right-back position but can operate anywhere across the defence or even in midfield when required.
Wombwell came through the ranks at Sunderland, breaking into their Under-18s in 2019 and making 25 appearances before graduating to the Black Cats’ Under-23 side in 2020/21.
A successful trial at Gateshead in the summer of 2021 saw him earn a two-year deal at The International Stadium, while he gained further senior experience with loan spells at Marske United and Morpeth Town during 2022.
Moors boss Ainsley has been looking to add further quality in defensive areas in recent weeks and is delighted to have made a breakthrough and brought Wombwell to the Club on a contract until the end of next season.
“With no natural right-back currently at the Club, this has been a position we’ve been looking to strengthen for a while,” Ainsley explained.
“Finn Cousin-Dawson and Michael Ledger have both done great jobs when asked to operate there but they are natural centre-backs, while we feel John Lufudu is more suited to a back three.
“We’ve been patient in our work to bring in the right player and we feel we have that with Ryan, so we’re delighted to get him signed up on a permanent deal.
“He’s a good size and still at a good age; he’s a physically fit young lad who has really good qualities and has enjoyed an excellent grounding at Gateshead and, more recently, on loan at Morpeth.
“It’s also a bonus that he knows quite a few of our lads with him being a Geordie so I’ve no doubt he will fit into the group seamlessly.”
Wombwell has been handed squad number 3 and will go straight into contention to make his Moors debut in Saturday’s National League North fixture at AFC Telford United.