• Sam Byrne

‘Too good to turn down’ - Hometown midfielder arrives at Edgeley Park

Stockport County have sealed the signing of former Fleetwood Town midfielder Callum Camps on a three-year deal - just weeks after seemingly deciding against a move for the 26-year-old.

Camps, who departed the League One side over the summer after two years with the club, joins up with his hometown club on yet another free transfer for The Hatters.

The versatile midfielder had become increasingly linked with a move to Edgeley Park over the last few months of the 2021/22 campaign and into the summer, but Dave Challinor and company are believed to have originally decided against a potential deal last month - instead focussing on the double acquisition of Akil Wright and Connor Lemonheigh Evans.

That seemed to pave the way for Camps to link back up with his former Fleetwood manager Joey Barton at newly-promoted Bristol Rovers - only for the option to sign Camps to come back around for the National League champions over the past week.

It is believed that a deal was resurrected due to Camps showing ‘real interest’ in what was reportedly his ‘first choice’ for a move, with County more than happy to take an opportunity which the club felt was ultimately too good to turn down.

Challinor is understood to be confident of managing what is now a packed midfield at Edgeley Park - with Camps joining Wright, Lemonheigh Evans, Antoni Sarcevic, Ryan Croasdale, Will Collar, Myles Hippolyte, youngster Cody Johnson and other midfielders at the club (albeit not all naturally central options).

But with four competitions for Challinor and County to navigate throughout this season and an increased number of substitutes permitted on all fronts, the club are content with the situation and feel Camps adds even more versatility to an already flexible centre.

The belief is that the former Rochdale man can play in a number of positions throughout the season and add a further stroke of class to an already stellar established midfield three of Collar, Croasdale and Sarcevic.

Challinor alluded to the resurrection of the deal in the club’s official statement on Monday evening, revealing the move seemed “destined not to happen”, and adding that the opportunity which had presented itself to sign a player of Camps’ quality was indeed “too good to turn down” for The Hatters.

As County’s incoming business begins to near completion - with Czech goalkeeper Vit Jaros also signing on a season-long loan from Liverpool earlier today - focus will also inevitably turn to outgoings prior to the start of the League Two season on 30th July.

In that regard, defender Ben Barclay has joined fellow League Two outfit Carlisle United on a season-long loan deal, with the club also currently exploring options for others who may opt for more regular game time away from Edgeley Park.

*Image credits to Mike Petch