Kevin Sawyer is a huge signing for Gloucester City in more way
than one, the bulky shot-stopper is rated as one of the best goalkeeper's
at Southern League level and he will provide a considerable reassuring
presence between the sticks for a City side that last season often
looked nervous in defence. Sawyer had often previously been the
target of good humoured weight-based stick from the T-End, but City
fans will be delighted that the player has joined the Tigers' cause
after a string of fine result defining performances playing against
us over many years . His 6'3" broad frame clearly helps Sawyer
dominate his penalty area, but despite his size he is a keeper of
surprising agility. His signing in May 2007 was a coup for City
boss Tim Harris, himself a former keeper, as it suggests a club
stepping up a level in terms of quality and promotion potential.
Sawyer's desire to do well with the club seems to be exemplified
by a visible increase in fitness and impressive loss of weight.
Fortunately this doesn't seem to have a Samson-esque impact on his
abilities and his early season form hasn't disappointed, including
high class penalty saves against Brackley, King's Lynn and Stourbridge.
Sawyer in action for Ciren against City
in April 2007.
Sawyer is another product of Cirencester Town's succesful youth
academy, progressing into the first team under Ray Baverstock in
1998 and first really catching the eye of City fans with a string
of incredible saves in a 4-2 defeat to Cirencester in May 2001.
Sawyer steadily improved in consistency and his form had led to
him being courted by several other local non-league sides, with
a few trial games for Bristol City's reserve side. In July 2002
he finally headed to Salisbury City where he continued to grow in
stature, playing a central role in helping the Wiltshire side to
promotion from the Southern League's old Eastern Division in 2004,
and even claimed a couple of goals from the penalty spot. One of
those goals helped Salisbury to the FA Cup 1st Round where he took
the field against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, while another
proved the winner in a crucial Isthmian Premier relegation game
against Heybridge Swifts. When Salisbury were shifted back across
to the Southern League Sawyer was a key figure in their dominance
of the 2005/06 SLP season, keeping 22 clean sheets and being the
only ever-present in their championship winning season. Despite
his success Sawyer decided to leave Salisbury in August 2006 before
being able to taste Conference South football, leaving the club
rather than risk regular first team football when new arrivals to
the squad threatened his position. Surprisingly Sawyer returned
to Cirencester Town, but despite again producing consistently top
level performances Sawyer found his Ciren side end the season relegated.