Connell Rawlinson is home.

    Chester FC are thrilled to welcome back Connell Rawlinson to The Deva Stadium!

    Central defender Connell, who is a hometown boy, has put pen to paper on a one-year-deal after his departure from EFL League Two side Notts County.

    The 32-year-old is returning to the club that he made his professional debut for as a substitute against Oxford United in 2009.

    After making three first-team appearances for the Blues he moved to The New Saints, where he made 180 appearances in a spell which saw him pick up seven straight Welsh Premier League medals.

    Rawlinson moved back to the English leagues in 2018 when he signed for Port Vale. He featured 36 times for the Valiants as they finished 20th in League Two.

    A vastly experienced defender, Connell’s most recent spell saw him turn out 153 times for Notts County, both in the National League and League Two.

    Rawlinson is another signing that has a promotion on his repertoire – helping County to promotion back to the Football League in 2023 after a play-off final victory over Chesterfield.

    Manager Calum McIntyre spoke on his seventh summer signing: “Firstly, I am absolutely delighted to have added a player of Connell’s pedigree to the group.

    “The perfect circumstances have developed to allow us to secure an EFL centre half of enormous personality and physical presence. It is something we have wanted to do all summer so I am pleased to have finally got this one over the line.

    “He will really upskill the group and I expect his leadership qualities to be massive across the group. We now have the personnel to be flexible in a back three or a back four and have several players who are extremely comfortable in multiple positions. This was always going to be important in a smaller group.

    “We now have a group that has two highly experienced players who have represented Chester City and regard the club as the one that gave them their opportunity to progress into senior football. We have Five Players in the First Team Squad who have come through the club’s Academy programme.

    “We have three further players who have now made over 100 appearances for this club.

    “We have an Assistant Manager who came through the ranks at Chester City before progressing through to the Premier League. We have a Manager who has spent a decade at the club in a variety of roles and is proud to call the City his home.

    “We have a group that the fans can connect with with all the attributes that our passionate supporter base demand from a Chester team. Our group understand what it is to represent this club and we are determined to deliver in the Month’s ahead.”

    We would like to add one more forward to the group but I cannot stress enough that we have to act within our budget. We are not in the same world as clubs that pay four figures per week and this rules out a number of potential forward targets that have arisen this summer.

    “We are keen to do something and are prepared to be patient and act closer to the start of the season if necessary to get the right player. “20 goals a season” Strikers don’t grow on trees and they come at a premium and this club have certainly seen how hard signing the right ones are in the last 7/8 seasons.”

    Welcome home, Connell!

    Photos: Millie Johnson.