Jun 8 2012 By Matt Lewis
Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz Image 3
THE battle for Hayes & Yeading’s number one shirt is hotting up as the club makes moves for several new keepers.
United missed out on a permanent deal for last season’s player of the year Steve Arnold after the former Wycombe shot-stopper elected to join League One side Stevenage.
Boss Nas Bashir has held discussions with James Beasant, who was second-choice last term, about remaining at Kingfield next season and he could yet take possession of the gloves.
However, Beasant is likely to face stiff competition for a place between the sticks as United have made moves for three potential rivals for his starting spot.
Contact has been made with axed AFC Wimbledon youngster Jack Turner about a possible move to the Blue Square South club.
Another young prospect being monitored is Simon Locke, who was released by Premier League side Reading in May, after rising through the club’s academy system.
Locke signed scholarship forms with the Royals in 2008, where he first came onto Bashir’s radar, and the 20-year-old has remained in his thoughts since.
Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, released by Dover manager Nicky Forster at the end of the season, is another candidate for the role and has already been sounded out about a move.
Jaimez-Ruiz (pictured) is much travelled, having plied his trade in his native Venezuela, in Romania with CFR Cluj and eventually making his Football League bow with Aldershot in 2008.
The 27-year-old spent time at United during pre-season last summer and his familiarity with the team could give him the edge over the other targets on Bashir’s shortlist.
Veteran Delroy Preddie, who was third-choice at Church Road last season, is not expected to continue playing next season and will instead concentrate on his coaching career.
Preddie acted as goalkeeping coach last term while also making seven first-team appearances for the club in the Blue Square Premier.
However, United are understood to be considering expanding Preddie’s role by giving the fans’ favourite control of the team’s reserve team setup next season.