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27 Jun 2019 : Witton's Nick Ryan is our third summer capture

Michael Ellison is delighted to unveil Witton Albion defender Nick Ryan as Runcorn Linnets' third new recruit of the summer.

The imposing 25-year-old central half is ready, and raring, to resume his career after being ruled out of football since April 2018 due to injury.

Playing for Witton in an EVO-STIK League Premier Division fixture at Marine, Nick broke a leg in three places.

This was a particularly cruel blow for the defender, who had only just returned to the starting XI after two months out with a broken jaw.

Nick had joined Albion in summer of 2017, making such a strong impression that only weeks before his devastating injury, he had secured a contract for a second season with the Wincham-based club.

This was on the back of 37 Witton appearances, which had brought him in two goals - the player also making a significant contribution to 11 clean sheets kept by the team.

With Nick suddenly being faced by an indefinite absence due to his broken leg, Witton and their fans rallied round, setting up a crowdfunding campaign to support him.

Team-mates pledged the cash set aside for an end-of-season team holiday to help with compensating Nick for loss of earnings while he recuperated.

That long recovery is now very near completion and Nick can look forward to joining the Linnets when the first-team squad returns to training on July 2nd, starting final preparations for the pre-season campaign, which includes a home warm-up against Witton Albion.

Nick switched to Witton in July 2017 after spending the previous season with Stalybridge Celtic in National League North and scoring three goals in 19 appearances.

Before that, he had played in the EVO-STIK League for Burscough, enjoying 29 outings in 2015-16.

Linnets manager Michael Ellison said: "Nick is a top-class centre half and a great signing for us. After an awful injury, which sidelined him last season he's looking to get back playing and back to the level he was at.

"We will give him the platform to do that. He had a lot of clubs chasing his signature I'm delighted he chose us.

"I'd like to thank Witton's manager Carl Macauley for facilitating the signing. For my part, if Nick wanted to go back to Witton at any point, we would obviously not stand in his way."

Nick becomes Linnets' third newcomer, following the acquisitions of fellow centre back Louis Coyne (who arrives from Prescot Cables) and striker Jamie Rainford from Ramsbottom United.

With central defender Peter Wylie among a number of last season's regulars to have pledged their immediate futures to the Linnets, the club is already well placed to offset the defensive loss of 2018-19 Player of the Year, Aaron Morris to FC United of Manchester.

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