Former Barnsley, Everton and Blackpool midfielder snapped up by Stockport County

Stockport County have snapped up former Barnsley midfielder Callum Connolly.

The 26-year-old was available as a free agent, having left Blackpool at the end of the 2023/24 season. He had spent three years at Bloomfield Road, racking up 108 appearances after making the move from Everton.

Connolly also counts Barnsley among his former clubs, having had a loan spell at Oakwell while cutting his teeth at Goodison Park. He will now ply his trade at Edgeley Park after putting pen to paper at Stockport.

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Stockport boss Dave Challinor said: “To sign someone of Callum’s character, versatility and experience, having playing over half of his career in the Championship, is a brilliant coup for the club.

Callum Connolly left Blackpool at the end of the 2023/24 season. Image: Ben Roberts Photo/Getty ImagesCallum Connolly left Blackpool at the end of the 2023/24 season. Image: Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images
Callum Connolly left Blackpool at the end of the 2023/24 season. Image: Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images

“Versatility on its own probably doesn’t do justice in his case, he can play anywhere across a back four or five, as a defensive midfielder or as an 8, so is a manager’s dream in terms of squad dynamics. He’s worked with members of the backroom staff previously, who were in total agreement on the impact he could have in our group, so personally I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“He had a disappointing back end of last season from his perspective and I know how much he’s looking forward to a fresh start and motivation to really kick on and get back to the levels he’s been at earlier in his career. He comes in at a great age with his peak years in front of him and I’m sure he’ll complement our team as we enter into the exciting challenge ahead of us.”

Connolly has penned a two-year deal with the club, who lifted the League Two title last season.

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Stockport’s director of football Simon Wilson added: “Callum brings fantastic experience and versatility to our group. Players like Callum are gold dust in that they can play many positions to a high level, and as such will help us over the course of a 50-odd game season as we encounter different selection issues or challenges from opponents.

“He has worked with our staff before and his character references from them and others are of the highest quality. We are delighted to welcome him to our group and look forward to our supporters seeing him in action.”

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