Cobblers quick off the mark as they swoop to sign Stockport County goal star Matt Warburton

Keith Curle has moved quickly to make his first signing of the summer, sealing a deal for prolific Stockport County attacker Matt Warburton on a free transfer.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 2:58 pm
The Cobblers have signed Stockport County top scorer Matt Warburton (Picture: Pete Norton)

Warburton was the Hatters' top scorer as they won the Vanarama National League North title this season, netting 18 goals in the league and 27 in all competitions.

He was named Stockport's player of the season and has been attracting interest from a number of Football League clubs, but it is the Cobblers have won the race for his signature.

Warburton joined Stockport County in the summer of 2017 after netting 13 goals in 16 appearances for Curzon Ashton, and in two seasons at Edgeley Park he scored 48 goals, including finding the net in the Hatters' 3-1 Emirates FA Cup win at Yeovil Town in November.

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That was one of 40 goals he scored in the calendar year of 2018.

He is a player who operates in a number 10 role, or as an attacking midfielder, and is desperate to fuflfil his dream of becoming a full-time professional footballer.

Warburton has been part-time with Stockport, juggling his football career with his day job of being a PE teacher at Ashton-on-Mersey School in Sale, Greater Manchester.

He will now put his teaching career on hold as he fully focuses on trying to make the grade with the Cobblers.

The 27-year-old has also previously played for Salford City, and has been a regular goalscorer and creator throughout his non-League career.

"We are really pleased to be able to bring Matty in," said Cobblers boss Curle.

"There was a lot of interest in him but we are delighted Matty has chosen us and wants to be part of what we are looking to build.

"We think Matty is a really good signing for us and we are excited about working with him."

The announcement of Warburton's signing comes just a day after Curle announced the club's retained list and the departure of eight players, and three others being transfer-listed.

He has promised a busy summer, and Warburton becomes the Town boss's first permanent signing since becoming manager at the beginning of October.

Deals are also close for at least two other players, with Curle keen to get his rebuilding work underway as quickly as possible ahead of the next league two campaign.