Stockport County yesterday confirmed the signing of midfielder John Rooney from Barrow for an undisclosed fee.
Rooney arrives at the Hatters on a three year deal in a signing which can be seen as a real statement of intent by the club.
Awarded last season’s Vanarama National League Player Of The Year by the Non-League Paper. The Everton academy graduate has also played for Macclesfield Town, Barnsley, Bury, Chester and Wrexham, as well as a spell playing Major League Soccer in America.
Fans will still be jubilant from the three signings the club announced last week. James and Connor Jennings, along with Mark Kitching were all welcomed, and the further addition of Rooney is certainly a real highlight in Stockport’s determination to return to the Football League.
Rivals may look at the undisclosed fee paid and think that County are merely trying to buy their way out of the league. However, they should remember the fact the club have just sold highly-rated youngster Festus Arthur to Hull City, also for an undisclosed fee.
There is little doubt that Rooney will bring with him more than two things to Edgeley Park, but let’s look at the key areas which instantly standout.
In a squad update on 15.07.20 manager, Jim Gannon voiced his desire to bring in creative attacking midfielders, and director of football Simon Wilson has more than delivered here.
Commenting after the signing, Gannon said,
“As a team, we needed to add a player with both creativity and attack intent from midfield. In that regard, John Rooney is the standout player in the National League for goals from midfield. His record last season was exceptional.”
Rooney’s record last season was indeed exceptional, his 17 league goals and numerous assists, playing a huge role on Barrow’s route to the title.
National League Promotion Experience
The club continues to build a squad littered with players who know what it takes to get out of the National League.
Connor Jennings arrived late last week having previously been promoted with Tranmere. Lois Maynard and Liam Hogan have both tasted promotion with Salford City, Hogan had also been club captain for the Ammies at the time he signed for County.
It was something Gannon was also quick to point out about Rooney,
“He also brings a level of football involvement and leadership that helps a team play to a high standard.”
Adding another player who’s captained a side from this level to the Football League really is an outstanding effort from all involved at the club.