Simon Grayson: Planning to sign Joe Garner for Fleetwood started the day I arrived

Simon Grayson has revealed Fleetwood Town’s signing of  Joe Garner was a long time in the making.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 8:00 am

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England debut for Fleetwood Town defender James Hill

Garner signed a day before the transfer window closed last week, penning a two-year deal after leaving Apoel FC in Cyprus.

Reunited with his former Preston North End boss Grayson, Garner is among Town’s 10 summer signings.

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Simon Grayson worked with Joe Garner from 2013-2016 at Preston North End

Head coach Grayson said: “We looked at the situation and we probably needed more experience in the group.

“We’ve got Tom Clarke and Anthony Pilkington, and now Joe Garner who fits into that category. They’ve all played at a really good level.

“This isn’t a transfer that has happened over the last few weeks. This has probably been going since February 1, when I first came to the football club.

“I’m friends with Garns and know what he is about. I’ve worked with him and I was constantly in touch with him.

“Then in the last few months, when I knew we could do it and the owner (Andy Pilley) wanted to do it, I’ve been asking what’s been happening and when he was leaving. He needed his severance package over in Cyprus.

“He gave me the word six, eight weeks ago that once he got the financial aspect sorted he was going to come and play for me and Fleetwood.

“One or two in the club were getting a little anxious on whether it would happen in the last few days of the window.

“You’re always relaxed about it but people are thinking he could still go somewhere else and sign for more money, which he had offers to do.”

Garner may be 33 but he isn’t winding down by any means, says Grayson.

“I’ve seen him in training. He’s not 100 per cent fit yet but he’s still ruffling some feathers. I’m sure he’ll do that from now until he packs in.”

Mark Yeates has been appointed international coach within the Fleetwood Town Academy.

Already a coach within the youth set-up, the 36-year-old will deliver international programmes at the club’s International Academy and at Rossall School.

The former winger made over 500 professional appearances, including stints at Blackpool and AFC Fylde.

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