POOLE Town have boosted their preparations for the upcoming Southern League Premier South season with the reacquisition of popular goalkeeper Luke Cairney.

The 30-year-old shot-stopper left Dolphins prior to the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign to step up a level with Hungerford Town in the National South, fulfilling a personal ambition of playing at the highest level possible whilst moving closer to his Tidworth home.

Universally well-liked by Poole supporters, the affection appears to go both ways, with Cairney spotted at the Black Gold Stadium when his own playing commitments allowed.

Cairney returns to the Dolphins after making 58 league appearances for Hungerford in the National South, establishing himself as a top goalkeeper at Step Two of the non-league pyramid.

Accrington-raised Cairney came through the ranks at Burnley as a youngster, before being released at the age of 16.

Upon his release, Cairney decided to join up with the British Army, where after going through training, he quickly became an established figure in the Army football system with the Royal Engineers.

Alongside his military football career, Corporal Cairney has risen up the ranks in the non-league game, starting off with Andover Town in the Wessex League.

After a spell with Farnborough, Poole became aware of his quality, leading to the Dolphins bringing the goalkeeper in ahead of their return to the Southern League in 2018-19 after relegation from the National South.

Whilst his second season with the Dolphins was curtailed, the custodian recorded 25 clean sheets in 82 appearances for Poole, helping the Dorset club to the play-off final at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Aside from his performances between the sticks, Cairney is well-remembered for his goalscoring exploits in the FA Cup, although his late strike against Hayes & Yeading in 2019 proved scant consolation in a 3-2 defeat.

Cairney becomes the third addition to Poole’s squad for next season, after Toby Holmes and Wes Fogden agreed to join Dolphins' promotion push.

In terms of further transfer business, attention now turns to bolstering the defence and potentially the midfield with pre-season ambitions of at least a play-off spot.