Report by John Edwards
Picture by Jonathan Moore
Phil Parkinson has strengthened his goalkeeping options after landing Ethan Ross from Stockport County in a season-long loan deal that is subject to FA, Football League and National League approval.
The giant keeper comes in at an imposing 6ft 5in and will be familiar to Robins fans after he went on as a second-half substitute in County's recent pre-season win at The J.Davidson Stadium and capped an assured 45 minutes with an excellent late save to deny Regan Linney in a one-on-one with the Alty striker, as shown in the picture on the main news page.
Further back, towards the end of the 2021-22 season, he appeared at The J.Davidson as Aldershot's on-loan keeper and was only beaten by a deflected shot from Dan Mooney that left him wrong-footed in the 87th minute as Alty won 1-0.
Agreement has now been reached between the clubs for Ethan to spend the 2023-24 season with Alty, and he will be available for Wednesday evening's pre-season friendly with Macclesfield at Moss Rose, now known as the Leasing.com Stadium.
With a final pre-season friendly coming up on Sunday, at home to Manchester United under-21s, followed by the eagerly-anticipated launch of another Vanarama National League campaign against Dagenham & Redbridge at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday August 5th, Alty are now well covered in the goalkeeping department, with Ollie Byrne and Matt Gould having played a full part in the warm-up games so far.
Born in Enfield, Ethan came through the youth ranks at Arsenal and Cambridge United and had a three-year spell at West Brom before making his EFL breakthrough after joining Colchester United in 2018.
Following a successful loan spell in the National League with Maidstone United, he made his League debut for Colchester in a 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town, replacing Dillon Barnes after a red card for the U's number one and keeping a clean sheet during his 40 minutes on the pitch.
It was enough to earn him promotion to the starting line-up the following week, and he fully justified it with another clean sheet in a 2-0 win over MK Dons.
After a brief spell with Lincoln City, he signed a three-year deal with Stockport in July 2021 and made his debut for Dave Challinor's side in a 2-1 win over Wrexham at a packed Edgeley Park in September that year.
In total, he made 12 appearances in the campaign that ended in promotion to League Two for County, who also loaned him out to Aldershot and York City and have now sanctioned a season-long stay with the Robins for the 26-year old.
A very warm welcome to The J.Davidson Stadium, Ethan, and all the best from everyone at the club for a successful time in Alty colours.