Date: Thu 20 Jul 2023

By Steve Whitney

Stags Bag Highly-Coveted Striker

Highly-coveted striker Jake Scrimshaw has joined Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South club AFC Totton, fresh from a `golden boot-winning` display at this summer’s Island Games football tournament in Guernsey.

Scrimshaw was born in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. He joined AFC Bournemouth’s academy in his mid-teens, going on loan to Poole Town in the 2018/19 season before similar stints with Eastleigh, Walsall, Newport County and Scunthorpe United over the subsequent three years.

His spell at Poole came while the Dolphins were in the same division that Jimmy Ball’s Stags are about to compete in when the new season gets underway on Saturday, August 5th.

At that point, Scrimshaw was a second-year scholar at Bournemouth and between his outings for the Cherries’ under-18s and Poole, he scored a total of 48 goals in a single season.

Upon his return to the Vitality Stadium, he signed his first professional contract with Bournemouth before making 10 appearances in all competitions during a loan at Eastleigh.

Walsall gave him his first taste of EFL action, and he scored 2 goals for the Saddlers in 14 outings in a three-month spell at the Bescot Stadium before switching mid-season to Newport County, where scored another 3 goals in 16 appearances.

Scrimshaw then spent the entire 2021/22 season on loan at Scunthorpe United, contributing 3 goals in 17 league games for the Iron.

After being released by Bournemouth in the summer of 2022, he signed a two-year contract with Yeovil Town. But his stay at Huish Park proved to be a short one, before leaving the club by mutual consent in January of this year, having played 8 times for the Glovers.

He signed a short-term deal with another National League side Eastleigh, for whom he scored on his debut against Maidstone United but was released by the Silverlake Stadium outfit at the end of the season.

Despite being without a club over the summer, Scrimshaw was selected to represent the Isle of Wight at the Island Games in Guernsey.

The 2023 Games represented the 16th time that football has featured at the multi-sport competition.

Drawn in Group A together with the hosts, Scrimshaw bagged all 5 of his team’s goals in the three-game group stage, beating the Finnish island of Åland 2-0, the Western Isles 1-0 and Guernsey 2-1 to top the group.

Another brace from Scrimshaw in the semi-final took his personal goals total to 7 – enough to earn him the tournament’s `golden boot` award – but the Isle of Wight lost the tie 2-3 at the hands of the eventual champions, Jersey.

Former AFC Totton striker Tokia Russell (more commonly referred to as Enrique Russell during his short stay at the Snows Stadium) scored his fourth goal of the competition in the bronze medal play-off on Friday, 14th July.

Scrimshaw kept his powder dry on that occasion, leaving the goal-getting duties to his team-mate Joseph Craig, who notched both as the Isle of Wight hit back in the second half to win 2-1.

Having just sealed the deal to bring him to the Snows Stadium, Scrimshaw was among the 288 crowd that saw his new team-mates produce a stubborn, battling performance to overcome Bognor Regis Town 2-0 in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday night (19 July), posing for photographs with his new manager Jimmy Ball on the pitch at half-time and fielding several questions from the Stags’ media team.

“I have bounced around from club to club a little over the last year or so, but I’m confident this is the right move for me at this point in my career, to help me get back on track,” explained the striker, who will turn 23 shortly after the 2023/24 season kicks-off.

Asked to liken his style of play to a famous player the AFC Totton fans would be familiar with, he opted for the Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, going on to describe himself as similarly enjoying playing off the shoulder of the last defender and using his pace to run clear and put the ball in the back of the net.

There were no shortage of alternative offers for Scrimshaw’s services while he was on international duty, but he was content to concentrate on the job in-hand and bide his time.

“I know the Southern League Premier Division well and I’m sure I can produce at this level. I’m aware of what AFC Totton achieved under Jimmy Ball last season and of his reputation throughout the game for bringing on young players. Charlie Davis and Josh Carmichael are both friends of mine from time spent together at Poole and Bournemouth, and they have told me nothing but good things about the way this club is run and the vibe between the management and the players, so I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to prove what I can do and to help the team achieve success this season”.

Ben Rochey-Adams

AFC Totton Web Site

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