Southport have confirmed that Dean Winnard will join the club in the role of player-coach for the 2018/19 season.
Winnard has spent pre-season in Southport and brings a wealth of experience to the side ahead of the new campaign. The 28-year-old defender has amassed nearly 300 Football League appearances with Accrington Stanley and Morecambe after starting his career at Blackburn Rovers.
On his new addition to the team, as well as his backroom staff, manager Liam Watson said; “Dean is a player who I have always admired, his desire to win and his ability to play in any position across the back four was the main factors along with his character.
“He has already got his UEFA B coaching qualification and is keen to keep progressing as a coach. He will benefit from the learning of the current staff whilst being an instrumental part of the playing squad.
“With his experience in the leagues above he will be vital during the months ahead. He is a really important signing for the club as we progress.”
Whilst Winnard is excited to start his new chapter in football: “When I found out Southport wanted me early on it was too good to turn down. The club have ambitions and want to win things, something I’ve always tried to do in my career.
“I’ve still got a few years left playing the game, but it doesn’t last forever, that’s why I’ve decided to do my coaching qualifications. The chance to learn first-hand from Liam (Watson) and Jon (McCarthy) who have so much knowledge of the game is such a good opportunity for my development, so I’m very grateful to be given this role at such an important stage in the history of the club.”