Barry Smith has made his first two signings as Aldershot Town manager, with goalkeeper Phil Smith and defender Sean McGinty both agreeing new one-year contracts.
35 year-old Phil made 51 appearances for The Shots last season, missing just one league game and producing many fine performances having joined from Portsmouth in July 2014.
Previously, the Harrow-born keeper played 132 games in six years at Swindon Town, made 83 appearances for Crawley Town and, from 2002 – 2004, 77 appearances for Margate. Phil began his career at Millwall, and went on to play for Bromley, Ashford Town, Croydon, Walton and Hersham and Dover Athletic.
“I love playing at the Club, so it was an easy decision for me to make,” admitted Smith. “I really enjoyed last season. I hadn’t played a full season for a long time and I was happy with my form. Now I want to keep going and have a better season, for myself and for the team.
“We all want to do better, and I want to be involved at the right end of the table at the end of the season. Everybody is looking forward to bringing more success to the Club.”
McGinty, whose contract at Rochdale expires on 30 June, will join Aldershot Town on 1 July, having impressed in a 13-game loan spell at the ESS from February to April 2015. The 21 year-old, who made his debut in the 3-2 victory at Alfreton Town, began his career at Charlton Athletic before winning the 2011 FA Youth Cup and signing his first professional contract at Manchester United.
As well as loans at Morecambe, Oxford United, Carlisle United, Tranmere Rovers and Northampton Town, the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international also signed a two-year deal with Sheffield United in the summer of 2013.
Sean said: “It’s a fantastic move for me and definitely the right one for me at this stage in my career. The opportunity to play regular football is the main thing for me. Although obviously there’s no guarantee that I will play every game, I want to push on here and know that if I start pre-season well I can play as well as, if not better than, I did last season.
“The Club still has a Football League set-up, and I felt that the fans really warmed to me. I thought I did well in my 13 games and it’s great that Barry Smith wanted my signature. I think both Barry and Chris Barker (Assistant Manager) will really help to make me a better defender.
“I’m moving down to the area next week, from Manchester, and I can’t wait to get started. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and I hope that this season will be a success.”
Barry Smith said: “I am delighted with both of these signings. Phil is a hugely experienced goalkeeper and enjoyed a great season with the Club last year. It is a credit to Sean that, even though he had other offers, he has chosen to stay with Aldershot Town. He wants to progress with the Club and take this opportunity to play week-in-week-out.”