Vastly experienced defender Nathan Pond has ended a fifteen-year career with SkyBet League One side Fleetwood Town to become one of Graham Alexander`s first new signings as manager of Vanarama National League newcomers Salford City.
The 33-year-old has penned a two-year contract at the Peninsula Stadium to re-unite with Alexander, who he played under at Highbury.
Pond, who joined Fleetwood in 2003, made 498 appearances for the Cod Army, playing a key role in the club’s rise up the divisions from North West Counties League Division One to League One.
He scored 51 goals in his time at the club and was awarded a Guinness World Record for becoming the only player to play in seven different divisions for one club, following the club’s promotion to League One in 2014.
Chairman Andy Pilley told the club`s official website: “First of all, I would like to say it will feel really strange not to have Pondy around the club. I have been here for the best part of 15 years and he is part of the fabric of this football club.
“It is just extraordinary and for him to play that amount of games is remarkable and an incredible achievement. What is extra-special is that I don’t think this will ever happen again in the history of football, for someone to play in seven different levels for a particular football club, and that what Nathan has achieved.
“It is sad news for the club as he is a big part of what we are, but it is also good news for him and his family and we have to respect that and shake hands and wish him all the best.”
Pond said on his move: “It has been an honour to wear the shirt 498 times.
“My next challenge at Salford City is one that I am excited about.
“Salford are a club – much like Fleetwood – who are highly ambitions and are desperate to get into the Football League like we were all those years ago.
“I’m hoping I can add another promotion to my CV.”
Following Pond to Salford is Danny Whitehead from reigning champions Macclesfield Town and Kieran Glynn from neighbours FC United of Manchester.
Twenty-four-year-old Whitehead hails from just down the road in Stretford and started out with Stockport County in 2011.
He was soon a regular in the first-team at Edgeley Park, catching the eye of West Ham United.
An undisclosed fee took him to Upton Park in June 2013 but only one appearance was recorded for the Hammers.
Released by West Ham in January 2015, he signed a short-term deal with Accrington Stanley.
A successful trial period at Macclesfield followed and he signed for the Silkmen in time for the 2015/16 campaign.
Another spell of fine form attracted Wigan Athletic’s attention and he signed for them in January 2016.
Loaned back to the Silkmen immediately, Whitehead recorded 5 goals in twenty-seven games during that season
During the summer of 2016 he was loan to Cheltenham Town and then back to Macclesfield.
In September 2017 the move to Moss Rose was made permanent and Whitehead became a key member of the side that won the National League title.
The highly-rated 20-year-old Glynn caught the eye during Salford’s festive clashes with FC United during the past season.
He joined FC United directly from the Hopwood Hall academy and at just 17 forced his way into first-team contention.
He has since made over fifty appearances for the Red Rebels, scoring 5 goals along the way.
Glynn now follows in the footsteps of fans’ favourite Tom Walker in making the move from Broadhurst Park on a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee.