Yeovil Town have agreed a new contract for goalkeeper Stuart Nelson. The 36 year old former Gillingham, Notts County and Brentford keeper has been given a two year contract with the club that will keep him at Huish Park until the summer of 2020. Nelson missed the final games of the 2017-18 season, with a fractured wrist that he sustained in the League Two match against Swindon Town, leading to Artur Krysiak's return between the sticks after Jonny Maddison had also filled in, but now would appear to be earmarked as the club's most senior keeper for the 2018-19 season.
Nelson was born in Stoud on September 17th 1981 and had a youth career with Battledown (in Cheltenham), Cirencester. His early career didn't pull up too many trees, with two years at Millwall and then a season with Doncaster Rovers in the Conference division seeing him drop into non-league football with Hucknall Town. However, in February 2004, he got his big break when Brentford bought him from Hucknall for £10,000 and during his first full season with them, he gained 21 clean sheets in 55 appearances as the West London side made the League One play-offs.
He spent three seasons on Brentford's books, making 139 appearances before joining Leyton Orient for the 2007-08 season, where he made 33 appearances. The next two years were not so good as moves to Norwich City and Aberdeen didn't take off, but when he returned to England, he had two successful seasons with Notts County, making 90 appearances for them.
Nelson then moved to Gillingham - a club that he was ultimately to spend five-and-a-half years with. He was part of their 2012-13 squad that won promotion from League Two. His performances were good enough to be runner-up in their Player Of The Season for that year, and then in 2013-14 he took the main award. He was also named in the PFA Team Of The Season for League Two in 2012-13. Nelson went on to become the club's Vice Captain and ultimately made 223 appearances for them - the third highest appearances a goalkeeper has made for the Gills.
During the 2017-18 season, Nelson found himself frozen out, having been Gillingham's number one keeper for five years. Having only made two first team appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy during the current campaign, he agreed to have his contract ripped up on the final day of the January Transfer Window to leave himself as a free agent. That led to him signing a short term deal with Yeovil Town on February 20th 2018, acting as cover for the loss of Artur Krysiak due to injury. Nelson played five matches for the club during 2017-18, with his first two matches particularly impressive as he helped the club keep two clean sheets. Unfortunately his fractured wrist in his fifth appearance curtailed his season, but he will now get a second start with the club for next season.
The decision to sign up Nelson would tend to bring into question the future of Artur Krysiak. The Polish keeper had made his 150th appearance for the club on the final day of the 2017-18 season against Lincoln City. However, he is currently out of contract. With Jonny Maddison under contract until the summer of 2019, it is unlikely that the club would afford three full time professional goalkeepers on their books at the same time.
Link: Stuart Nelson : Yeovil Town Statistics.
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