Star keeper Theo Richardson leaves Buxton as Max Hunt and Jake Wright arrive
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A former Manchester United youth product who was signed by Jose Mourinho, Richardson, 24, signed for Buxton in 2021 and last season made 46 appearances with 14 clean sheets.
He said: “What a whirlwind it's been at this fantastic club over the last two years. First champions and an FA Cup Second Round tie live on BBC. Followed by a Derbyshire Cup win, just missing out on the National League North play-offs and another FA Cup second round tie away at Ipswich.
“To play 100 games for this club has been a real honour and to top it off with Supporters' and Players' Player of the Season was amazing – two unbelievable years.
“I want to thank everybody associated with Buxton for the past two years – the fans, the management teams, the chairman and my team mates. I've enjoyed every second of the journey we've all been on together.
“The club will always have a special place in mine and my family's hearts after the experiences we've been through together. I'll always be a Buck.
“I wish you nothing but success for the future but it's now time for the next step on my journey.
“I’m buzzing to be at Fylde finally and get it all sorted, and I can’t wait for the new season to start.
“It’s a club that I know wants to go places. Their ambition matches my ambition, and it’s somewhere I’ve got family close to as well, so it was a no-brainer.”
Fylde director of football Chris Beech said: “The acquisition of Theo is another superb bit of business for the club despite it taking a little more time than we’d have liked, mainly due to an undisclosed fee being agreed, and then personal terms.
“I would personally like to thank our chairman for supporting the transaction and having the foresight for sharing our vision and looking to implement that by way of supporting the deal.
“On meeting Theo, it was clear to see he is full of ambition and courage – I believe he will be a real fire starter to setting the energy and pace of the team, building attacks and creating goalscoring opportunities that you now often see in the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, as well as keeping the ball out of the net.
“I believe if Theo, at 24 years of age, gets this next stage of his career right on the pitch, he too may have the opportunity to emulate the success of Chris Maxwell, who joined Preston.
“He joins Chris Neal, who, after winning the league and keeping 19 clean sheets last season, will build healthy competition and supportive spirit to gain a starting position in our matchday squad.
“With the right culture and respect within our framework, I’m sure both players will make the other better for it.
“I understand in negotiations that both clubs represent within the transaction different priorities.
“By way of going through the process with Dave Hopkins at Buxton and understanding his stance to support his manager Craig Elliot – who performed admirably in the second half of last season – the compromised position we came to is the right result for all parties and more importantly, represents Theo’s ambitions.
“I wish them well in replacing Theo and the club overall when attacking the National League North next season, but from a selfish perspective, I look forward to seeing Theo play and develop our style here at AFC Fylde and attacking the challenges the National League represents.”
Buxton's new signing Hunt started out with Nottingham Forest's youth scheme and was at the Mansfield Town academy. His other EFL clubs have been Derby County and Carlisle United.
As Buxton's squad continues to take shape, Morgan Bacon, Shaun Brisley, Warren Clarke, Lindon Meikle and Jake Moult have also left the club and loanees Max Conway, Brad Jackson, Joe Ackroyd and Jake Hull have returned to their parent clubs.