JIM GANNON has finalised his Stockport County squad for the upcoming National League North season after the three final players put pen to paper.
Gannon, who returned for his third spell in charge of the Hatters in January, has sealed a hat-trick of deals to take his senior squad up to 19.
Experienced 30-year-old midfielder Gary Stopforth, pictured left, has joined Stockport from new league rivals Salford City after helping them to promotion to Step 2.
Also arriving at Edgeley Park is 22-year-old defender Sam Minihan from Worcester City. The former Rochdale youngster was crowned City’s Young Player of the Year and also Players’ Player of the Year last season.
The final name to be confirmed is striker Kayode Odejayi, who re-signs with the club having joined from Tranmere Rovers last summer.
The big forward only scored five goals last season but flourished after Gannon’s arrival, scoring four and assisting five in 16 games.
Gannon told the club’s website: “I felt it took me a while to adjust our tactics to ensure we got more from Kay, and as the season wore on I felt he became more and more effective in combining with other players.
“As the point attacker, or player that acts as target man and leads the line, he often has to have more attributes to his game, the most obvious being a physical focal point for the team to help them get up the pitch. This role often leads to gaining of territory and assisting in goals. In that regard Kay was superior to other strikers last season for us.
“I think Gary is a great addition to the squad. With only Lewis Montrose and Glenn Rule as recognised central midfielders I felt that we needed at least one more in the squad.
“As soon as we were made aware of Gary’s potential availability from Salford City, he overtook other possible targets and moved to the top of our wanted list.
“The addition of another defender with Sam’s athleticism and ability has given me that extra confidence that we now have great depth and balance within the squad rather than it just being good.
“We also now have the opportunity to play other formations that include wing-backs or the use of full-backs that extend the full length of the pitch, which I am seriously considering.”