It's our very own Big Sam! Birthday boy Roscoe bolsters Alty back line

Report by John Edwards

Phil Parkinson has added a towering presence to Altrincham's defence for next season after landing 6ft 5in centre-back Sam Roscoe from Northern Ireland Premiership runners-up Linfield in a move that is subject to international clearance and FA and National League approval.

Manchester-born Sam, who turned 25 today, made more appearances than any other Linfield player last season, and his signing is seen as a real coup for the Robins after he opted for a return home rather than staying with David Healy's side when his Windsor Park contract ran out.

Alty boss Phil was delighted with his latest acquisition as he underlined the attributes that promise to make the defender such a valuable addition to next season's squad.

"I’m extremely pleased to announce the signing of Sam Roscoe," said Phil. "For those who don’t know him, he’s a left-sided 6ft 5in centre-half who will give us great balance and aerial strength.

"He is extremely comfortable on the ball, and he topped all the charts at his last club for duels won in both boxes. This is an area we obviously need to improve on - attacking the ball in both boxes - and I’m hoping he can help us achieve that.

"He’s a great age at 25, with a wealth of experience in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as having had European exposure in a similar way to Lewis Banks.

"Although he is well travelled, he’s a local lad, and one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to sign him was his desire to do well for Altrincham Football Club. Like a few of our other signings, he turned down more lucrative offers at so-called bigger teams to sign for Altrincham.

"As a person, he’s very down-to-earth, and I believe he will fit into the group no problem and bring a real calmness, composure and winning mentality to us.

"I must also give a special mention to Damian Flood and Stacy Ramsay, who are both scouts, on helping us in the decision-making process with lads like Sam. There is a process we have in place at Altrincham, and some people who play a vital part in this don’t always get credited. The simple truth is that without these people, deals like Sam’s wouldn’t get done."

Sam started out at Aberdeen and worked his way through the Academy ranks to win his first professional contract in June 2016 before being loaned to Alloa Athletic, where he made 25 appearances in the Scottish Championship in 2018-19.

He then signed a two-year deal with Ayr United before accepting a contract for the same duration at Linfield, where he became a firm fans' favourite as the cornerstone of their defence who also posed a threat in the opposition area.

He made his Linfield debut as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 home win over Bosnian side Bora Banja Luka in the Europa Conference League in July 2021 and was on the scoresheet for the first time in a 2-1 away defeat to Luxembourg's Fola Esch in the same competition the following month.

Apart from bringing experience of European football with him to Alty, he also boasts an impressive pedigree for helping lift trophies after picking up a Premiership title winner's medal in 21-22 and a League Cup winner's medal last season.

In all, he made 84 appearances for Linfield, scoring six goals, his final outing being a 2-0 win away to Cliftonville in April, by which stage he had decided the time was right for a return to his native North-West.

A warm welcome to The J.Davidson Stadium, Sam, and here's hoping you have an enjoyable and successful time in Alty colours.

*Watch out for another signing announcement here on the club's website and our social media channels tomorrow evening.

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