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Turner prize swoop

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date online: 31 January 2014

YOUNG striker Rhys Turner joined Athletic today on an 18-month contract.

Eighteen-year-old Turner scored six goals in 14 appearances for Stockport County in the Skrill Conference North this season.

The deal followed yesterday’s season-long signing of attacking midfielder John Paul Kissock, on loan from Macclesfield for the rest of the season.

Another new face was set to be drafted in before noon, the deadline to register a player in time to be available for tomorrow’s Sky Bet League One clash at Swindon Town.

Turner, who hails from Preston and will travel with the squad for this weekend’s game, said: “I’m buzzing. This is a massive chance for me at this level and I’m looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, uncertainty still surrounds the immediate future of Athletic’s sought-after defender James Tarkowski, rated at “70-per-cent” to leave Boundary Park.

Championship and League One clubs have been pursuing the talented centre-back for some weeks and he was having talks with a League One club yesterday.

“It is not going to be a monstrous deal if it happens, but it will be a fair one,” said Johnson.

“He’s a good player. There’s not many six foot three central defenders about who are good on the ball, strong, and reasonably mobile.

“He’s done very well this year and I think we’ve brought him on, too, and that’s probably why he has attracted all the interest.”

Kissock (24) has experienced a varied career since his days as an Everton junior.

He joined the Goodison Park giants at the age of seven, and represented England at under-16 and under-18 level, but never made a first-team appearance for the Toffees.

He took in loan spells with Scottish Premier League side Gretna, and League Two Accrington, before joining Hamilton Academicals permanently in the summer of 2009. He returned to England to play in non-league’s top flight with Southport, Luton Town and Macclesfield.

Johnson said: “It may appear to be an unfashionable signing, but sometimes as a manager you have to weigh up the value, age, pedigree and talent and take a chance. He is certainly hungry. It’s up to him to show he is worthy of being a League One player.”

ATHLETIC have reported West Ham United to the FA amid claims they sold them currently sacked Cristian Montano despite knowing the winger had been arrested on suspicion of a serious offence.

Montano (22) appealed Athletic’s decision to sack him last week after he was arrested on suspicion of spot-fixing last year.

Colombian Montano’s earlier arrest took place before his move from the Hammers in August, 2012.

Athletic withheld the final instalment of Montano’s transfer fee to West Ham when it emerged he was due in court for the earlier offence.

That decision triggered an automatic transfer embargo on Athletic, though it was lifted as soon as the Boundary Park informed the FA of their complaint.

LATVIA under-21 international Edijs Joksts left Athletic yesterday after it was mutually agreed to terminate his contract.


Welcome to Latics, Rhys and good luck.
An exciting, young prospect, if you read the comments regarding him from former manager and fans.

We're going potty, replacing experienced quality players for virtually untried potentials for lower levels.

We've lost Montano, Schmeltz, Rooney all potential strikers or attacking midfielders to be replaced by yet more midfield players, some on loan, some under mysterious deals of loans maybe....? and then put out, sacked or given away our contracted players, sorry leaves me baffled now.

After 60 years... all faith is fast disappearing, but I wish my beloved home town club well...

I've seen Rhys Turner quite a few times this season. Decent player. Pacy striker with an eye for goal. Needs to beef up a bit, but as he is only 18 he has plenty of time to do it. I wouldn't expect to see too much in the first team immediately as a three division jump is a big step-up, but definitely one to watch out for next season.

Yet another lower league player signed!
It certainly looks like Johnson wants his team playing in the Conference league judging by his recent signings

Matt Smith, Fitz Hall, Ernie Cooksey, John Sheridan: all from non-league. Keep them coming!


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