Former Guiseley captain Ash Palmer has become County’s latest summer signing after agreeing a move to Edgeley Park. Ash has signed pre-contract terms and will officially become a Hatter at the start of next month.
The six-foot-two centre half spent two years with the Lions, and made 77 appearances. He also holds a National League North winner’s medal, having won the title with North Ferriby United in 2016, and also being named Player of the Year with the Villagers in the same season.
Ash, now 25, started his career as a youngster at Barnsley before spells with Scunthorpe United, Droylsden and Buxton.
He told County’s official website: “County is a really ambitious club and I’m looking forward to being in a strong side that’s challenging at the top end.
“My ambition is to get back to full-time football, so County is a perfect fit – I’ve been in pro clubs before, and played a few games in the League, so my aim is to get back there and make a living as a full-time professional footballer, and I can make that transition here at County with their plans to go full-time.”
Ash has been on Jim Gannon’s radar for more than two years, since winning the title with North Ferriby, so what can County fans expect from the big centre half? Ash said: “I like to defend, lead from the back, and do what I’m good at. I always give 100%.
“As soon as I came to Edgeley Park, had a look around and met Jim Gannon, I was sold – I knew I wanted to play here. I love the amount of detail he goes into, which is very different to what I’ve experienced in the past, he’s so thorough. He also spoke very highly of the group of players at the club – they are young and hungry, which is a good combination, and we certainly expect to be there or thereabouts with this squad.”
Having spent the last couple of years in the Vanarama National League, Ash doesn’t know too many of the players currently at County, other than former team mate Frank Mulhern, but he said: “That doesn’t bother me, I don’t mind walking into a new dressing room and making friends!”
Ash will officially join County on July 1 and will be available for the club’s pre-season friendly at Halifax on July 7.
Jim Gannon said: ‘I am delighted that we are now able to announce the signing of Ash Palmer, and talk about one of our main new players. I felt that the addition of a commanding centre back was a key requirement for our team. I wanted someone with leadership qualities, good experience, but also an appetite to become a better defender and player. Ash has a large number of games at National North and National level for a relatively young player, and at 25 still has aspirations to improve himself and play full time football in the future.
‘On a personal level the 2017/2018 season was another very good campaign, with Ash being recognised for his work by the supporters of Guiseley FC winning their supporters player of the year award. Prior to that, Ash was a commanding central defender for North Ferriby United during their successful National League North promotion season of 2015/16, winning all three of the Villagers’ player of the season awards.
‘When I met Ash I was impressed with him, on both a personal and professional level, and having watched and tracked his progress over the last two seasons I am really pleased he has chosen to join us. I guess it is also a recognition of the progress the club has made over the last two seasons, and the ambition and expectation that is being built for the forthcoming season, that provides confidence in higher level players like Ash to join us as they look to build their careers further at Stockport County.
‘Ash along with Jordan Keane adds to the strength and experience at the heart of our team, and they will ensure a strong backbone for our new young vibrant team.’
Welcome to Edgeley Park, Ash.