Ryman League Division One North club Brightlingsea Regent have confirmed the signing of former Barnet West Ham goalkeeper Sam Cowler.
The 23-year-old was keeping goal for league rivals Heybridge Swifts up until his departure in November.
Cowler played for Frinton & Walton YFC before signing a youth scholarship with West Ham in 2009.
He then spent time on loan with the youth teams of Wycombe Wanderers, Queens Park Rangers, Yeovil Town and Barnet before being released in May 2012 – his only appearance in a first-team squad coming when he was on the bench for a Carling Cup game against Aldershot Town in August 2011.
Having previously spent time on loan in their youth team in June 2012 he signed for Barnet and made his debut in September 2012 in a 2–1 away defeat to Fleetwood Town, coming on as a 24th minute as a result of first choice goalkeeper Graham Stack being sent-off.
In July 2013, Cowler announced his departure from Barnet as he wanted first-team football and the following month he signed for Bishop’s Stortford on a one-year deal.
Cowler re-joined Barnet on a one-year deal in August 2014, once again as back-up to Stack.
Cowler’s only appearances in the 2014/15 season came in an FA Trophy tie against Concord Rangers and the subsequent replay defeat, but he was still awarded a league winners` medal following a successful season for the Bees.
He left The Hive at the end of last season and has been involved with Heybridge Swifts before choosing to leave the Scraley Road outfit in November.
Cowler was named on the subs bench in Saturday’s win over Romford which was the last appearance for Ollie Bowles in goal.