Former Alex Trio Shot Back Into The League
Three former Alex youngsters have made a return to the Football League with Aldershot. Strikers John Grant & Dean Howell will return with defender Anthony Charles next season in League Two.
Grant came through the youth academy at the Alex and made 11 appearances in the first team before being released in the summer of 2002. He's went on to play for Hereford, Telford, Shrewsbury and Halifax before signing for Aldershot in 2006. He quickly turned into a vital player for the Shots, scoring 23 in his first season, whilst this season he managed 21 goals as he fired Aldershot to win the Blue Square Premiership.
In the same promotion winning team was Anthony Charles, who came through at Gresty Road at the same time as Grant but never managed a first team game. Charles was released in 2001 and went on to play for a host of clubs including an initial spell at Aldershot in 02/03. After playing 66 league games for Barnet between 2005-2007, Charles returned to Aldershot last summer and has been ever present at centre back since.
Finally, Dean Howell makes up the trio. Howell was a product of the Notts County youth system and spent just a couple of years at Crewe around 01-02. He never managed a first team appearance but did make the bench a few times as the Alex battled Divison One relegation.
Howell went on to play for the likes of Southport, Morecambe and Halifax, and even had a short spell at Colchester United. However, he's spent the last 12 months at Rushden & Diamonds which has caused Aldershot to move to sign the midfielder this month.
Howell says it's good to be back with old friends: 'We were all trying to break through at Crewe together. I used to room with Charles, and he's a good friend. Its great to be back together.'
It will be Aldershot Town's first league season since league club Aldershot F.C. closed in 1992.