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City Sign Experienced Midfielder Stanley

5 June 2015

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Craig Stanley has become Chris Moyses' latest acquisition with the midfielder signing a one-year contract at Sincil Bank

One of seven players released by Eastleigh at the end of last season following their play-off semi-final defeat against Grimsby Town, Stanley is a vastly experienced midfielder who has won promotion to the Football League with both Hereford United and Morecambe.

Stanley (32) started out as a scholar with Walsall before signing professional forms in July 2002 but having failed to make the first team at the Bescot, he moved north of the border to Scottish outfit Raith Rovers on a six-month loan, scoring on his debut against East Stirlingshire.

Following his release by Walsall, he finished the 2003/04 campaign at Telford United before joining Hereford United. He missed just five league and play-off games over the next two seasons, both of which saw the Bulls finish as runners-up in the Conference.

Part of the England National Game XI squad that won that season's Four Nations Tournament, Stanley helped Hereford clinch promotion to the Football League via the play-offs in 2006 but he was surprisingly released by the club and subsequently joined Morecambe.

In November 2006, he captained his country to a 4-1 victory over the Netherlands that clinched the European Challenge Trophy, whilst for his new club he was a virtual ever-present as Morecambe secured a place in the Football League thanks to victory over Exeter City at Wembley Stadium.

A regular for the Shrimps until the second half of the 2010/11 season, Stanley had a spell on loan at Torquay United before joining Bristol Rovers. After a season with the Gas he moved to Aldershot Town on a two-year deal in the summer of 2012.

A broken leg sustained in a pre-season friendly saw him miss most of his first campaign as as Shots player and although he was appointed captain for the following season, he failed to agree a new contract and duly signed for Eastleigh ahead of their first season at National League level.

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