Tranmere Rovers boss Micky Mellon bolstered his defensive options today, as he clinched the signing of 32 year old former Scotland international Jay McEveley, on a free transfer from Scottish Premier League side Ross County.
McEveley was born in Liverpool, but qualifies for the Scotland national team through his grandfather. He adds much needed depth to the Rovers back line, following the departure of fellow scouser Michael Ihiekwe to League One side Rotherham United early in the close season. Ritchie Sutton seemed to have taken Ihiekwe’s place in the friendlies so far, but competition for a starting shirt will now be intensified, as Tranmere push for promotion back to the football league.
Mellon expressed his delight at finally getting his man, after a summer of apparent difficulty finding the right fit for the club. He told the Tranmere Rovers website:
“Jay is someone who we have tracked for a number of weeks and I’m really pleased to add him to the group. He’s a left-footed player which will help give us balance and prevent us from being exposed down that side.
“Jay has plenty of experience, having played international football and in the Premier League, so will add great quality to the players we already have in the squad.
“He will also enable us to be tactically flexible as he can play as the left-sided centre-back in a back three or back four as well as at left back, so it gives us great options to be able to play different systems if we feel we need to.”
In an interview on the Rovers YouTube channel, McEveley praised the “first class facilities” at the Solar Campus training ground, and expressed his delight at joining “a league club, that needs to be back in the league”.
The initial reaction from the Super White Army has been one of relief and cautious optimism that an experienced defender with local connections has been captured. One fan tweeted: “Really pleased with this signing. What we have been crying out for. Feel a lot more confident in our squad balance now.”
Jay McEveley facts:
– Born on 11th February 1985, in Liverpool
– Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
– Weight: 12 st 10 lbs (81 kg)
– Was part of the same Everton youth side as Wayne Rooney
– Represented England at under 20 and under 21 level, before playing 3 times for the senior Scotland side
– Played in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers, before helping Derby County win promotion from the Championship
– Made 28 appearances for Ross County last year, helping them to 7th place in the Scottish Premier League