Ethan Pye agrees new deal

Stockport County is delighted to announce that Ethan Pye has today signed a new three-year-deal with the club, following an outstanding breakthrough season for the young defender.

Returning from a successful loan spell in the National League with Gateshead in 2022/23, Ethan quickly became one of the first names on the teamsheet during County’s title-winning season, forming a formidable partnership at the back alongside Fraser Horsfall.

The 21-year-old appeared 42 times in all competitions for Dave Challinor’s side last season, seamlessly making the step up to League Two football, with his performances earning him the Club’s Young Player of the Year award for 2023/24. His memorable season was capped in style when grabbing his first goal for the club, a flying header that sealed a 5-2 win away at Notts County that confirmed County’s first EFL title in 57 years.

It continues the remarkable rise of a player signed on a free transfer from Rochdale as an 18-year-old. Ethan had made just three appearances for the club prior to this season, enjoying two successful loan spells in the North-East with Spennymoor and Gateshead, but has quickly become a fan favourite at Edgeley Park this campaign.

Although the club retained an option to extend his previous contract by a further year, we are delighted that Ethan has committed to extending his time at Stockport County as we prepare for life in League One next season, with his new deal running until 2027.

First-Team Manager, Dave Challinor said:

“Ethan has had a fantastic season and although still under contract as such, we all recognise the improvement in him and how important he has become to our team. We took the plunge with him last season, letting experienced left-sided defenders move on so as not to block his pathway, and he’s paid back that faith put in him unbelievably.

“We all recognise his potential to improve, and although we don’t want it to be the case, we need to have players that have the possibility to achieve their own personal potential quicker than we do as a club, and Ethan could fit that category.

“His growth through his loan at Spennymoor in the National League North, then to Gateshead in the National League, to playing a major part in our League Two Champions team has been seamless. He now faces a new challenge in League One, and he’s been told that he’ll be pushed by myself, and especially Clint, every day to improve, and meet and out perform the demands and levels required in the next division.

“He’s thoroughly deserving of the contract extension, but pleasingly he also recognises that this is, and has been, a great place for him to develop and improve. For him to be continuing the start of his journey in professional football here at Stockport County is fantastic news for everyone.”

Director of Football, Simon Wilson said:

“It’s the third successive contract extension we’ve done with Ethan in three years, which goes some way to showing the progress he has made since coming to the club as an 18 year old; as well as credit the staff at the club for identifying and developing this terrific young player we proudly have here today.

“We always said in the early days ‘he just rises to the level you put in front of him,’ and I’m sure as we progress, we will see more of the same from Ethan.

“It caps a real coming of age season for him, where it wasn’t just the steady growth we had seen to date but a couple of giant leaps. I think the home game against Wrexham in particular, we saw a young man capable of cementing his place in a winning, side and being trusted to deal with the threats our toughest opponents create.

“It hardly ever goes this smoothly, so no doubt there will be bumps in the road moving forward – but we are all convinced this is a player moving forward on an exciting journey, with a Club that’s doing the same.


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