FOLLAND Sports boss Danny Bowers has made quick work of atoning for the loss of Dan Mason.

With winger/striker Mason returning to his old club Sholing, Bowers has brought his own ‘old boy’ back to Follands Park.

Stuart Gates, a one-time Sky One Football Icon runner-up, has linked up with the Planemakers again after a well-travelled few years.

A graduate of both the Southampton and AFC Bournemouth academies, Gates represented Hampshire at different age-groups before entering the Football Icon competition which handed him the opportunity to train with Chelsea, Dutch side FC Twente and LA Galaxy in the USA.

Unfortunately he just missed out on a year’s contract with Chelsea and has since turned out for the likes of Salisbury City and Poole Town in local non-League and worked as a coach at the Wellow Soccer Academy alongside Salisbury bosses, past and present, Darrell Clarke and Mikey Harris.

Bowers, who led Follands to a fine third in the Sydenhams Premier Division last season, said of Gates: “He’s got bags of pace, an eye for goal and it will be fantastic to have him in the side.

“Stuart’s been here before and he’s come back. He’s going to fit in very nicely.”