Sam Walker has joined Stockport County from Vanarama National League North rivals Salford City on a two-year deal.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a glittering non-League career, including back-to-back promotions at Curzon Ashton and an FA Trophy victory at Wembley during his time at FC Halifax Town.
Walker had initially agreed to remain at Moor Lane for another season but decided to make the move to County when he became aware of interest from County boss Jim Gannon.
Gannon said: “Being able to sign Sam has come as a real surprise. I’ve been a long-time admirer of him as a footballer since he played a big part in the Curzon Ashton team that got successive promotions to lift them from the Northern Premier into the National North. The last two summers we’ve been frustrated in trying to sign Sam so it’s great to finally get the opportunity to work with him.”
Walker started his career as a youngster at Oldham Athletic before joining Woodley Sports, but his career took off during four years at Curzon Ashton as he scored 41 goals, made more than 200 appearances and captained the side to successive promotions, prompting a move to Halifax.
Following an FA Trophy victory over Grimsby Town, he left The Shay to join the Ammies last summer for an undisclosed fee.
Thank you for the warm welcome ????⚪️ Let’s get going! https://t.co/0Oda4B6uJb
— Sam Walker (@SamuelWalkerEsq) 20 June 2017
Gannon added: “Sam is another important addition to the team. He brings natural balance to the midfield as a left footer. He is a great all-round midfielder that has good defensive attributes along with the main requirements of a central midfielder, which is the ability to play and make the team play.
“Sam has a good range of passing, craft and creativity from open play, and is also a great technician from set plays. Last season our left-footed technician Danny Lloyd’s number of goals and assists was accentuated by the taking of set plays, which made him look far more effective compared to other seasons at Fylde where he didn’t take set plays. More than a third of his goals and assists came from set plays, but in Sam we have a very capable technician that will maintain and improve this aspect.
“Sam scored 7 goals and provided thirteen assists in last season’s thirty-seven appearances at Salford, which is a great contribution from central midfield. Sam and Matty Warburton provide us with two very good technicians for set plays, which at every level of football is becoming an increasingly important source of goals.
“Sam has signed a two-year deal and within our agreement there is an understanding and opportunity for him to join us as part of any potential future full-time set up as we move forward”.