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Mike Ayrton on his and brother James' moves to Bishop's Stortford from National League 1 neighbours Cambridge

By Michael Vaughton

Brothers Mike and James Ayrton will be bringing a wealth of experience and bags of talent to Bishop's Stortford following their arrival from Cambridge.

The siblings have decided to make the move down the M11 to Silver Leys for a fresh challenge after racking up the appearances for Stortford's National League 1 derby rivals.

Flying winger Mike, 27, played more than 200 games for Cambridge over nine seasons, racking up more than 80 tries.

Mike Ayrton. Picture: Vikki Lince (12344399)
Mike Ayrton. Picture: Vikki Lince (12344399)

His younger brother James, 25, who plays centre, was with the club for seven campaigns and featured in just shy of 150 matches.

It will be a change of scene on matchdays for the Ayrtons, but Mike is well acquainted with Stortford as he works in the town for Accident & Health Underwriting, in Ducketts Wharf on South Street.

He also knows forward Declan Caulfield after their time together in the Saracens academy as youngsters, while he worked with Andy Long during the Stortford director of rugby's coaching stint at Cambridge.

"I just fancied a change," said Mike, who is sponsored by Tees, while his brother is being backed by Radleys. "I've only ever heard good things about Stortford and I've always enjoyed playing against them and going to their ground.

"They've always seemed like a nice bunch of boys playing an attractive style of rugby.

"I've played with Dec before and known Longy for quite a while. The move just made sense."

James Ayrton. Picture: Vikki Lince (12344406)
James Ayrton. Picture: Vikki Lince (12344406)

Stortford surged up the table in the second half of last season as they went from being bottom in January to finishing ninth, while Cambridge ended up being dragged into the relegation battle and ended up two points above the drop zone in 13th.

"If you look at the table since Christmas, Stortford were about top four, and it looks like Longy has recruited well," said Mike.

"Hopefully James and I can contribute in some way and Stortford can push on from where they were last season."

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