KEIGAN PARKER today became Stan Ternent’s first signing for Town – and paid tribute to the Galpharm manager’s powers of persuasion.
The 25-year-old Scottish striker has agreed two-year terms at the Galpharm after departing Blackpool, where he spent four seasons.
And after talking to a host of clubs, reported to include promoted pair Swansea and Nottingham Forest as well as Southampton and Aberdeen, he said Ternent’s promotion blueprint – and the prospect of playing in front of regular 16,000-plus crowds – had made his decision easy.
Parker, who aims to repeat his feat of 2006-07, when he won promotion to the Championship, explained: “Blackpool offered me a new deal some time back, but I decided it was time for a change.
“I’ve talked to a number of clubs, including some in the Championship, but Town impressed me most.
“Having played here for Blackpool, I know what the stadium and fans are like, and I’m convinced the club are set to take off.
“I liked what Stan Ternent had to say about going forward, and the fact that he was keen to make me his first signing here was a plus.
“I know he’s confident of bringing in more players, and I know I’ll have to fight for a place, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge, and if I didn’t think the club could be successful, I wouldn’t have signed.”
Parker, who started his career at St Johnstone, scored 16 goals in Blackpool’s promotion season, including one in their 3-1 win over Town at Bloomfield Road and another in the Wembley play-off final triumph over Yeovil.
But his Championship chances have been more limited, with 10 starts and 11 outings as a substitute in the season just finished.
He came close to a £200,000 switch to Barnsley during the transfer window, only for the move to break down at the eleventh hour.
Because Parker, who scored 41 goals in 115 starts and 50 further appearances as a sub for Blackpool, is out of contract, no fee is involved.
Ternent said: “He is genuinely quick and proven at this level of football and there are more goals to come from him.
“He gives us another option up front and provides competition for Andy Booth, Phil Jevons, Danny Cadamarteri, Luke Beckett and Danny Broadbent.
“Talks have been going on for a while and we’re really pleased to have him here. There are more signings to come as well.”
Parker, who grew up in Bathgate, near Edinburgh, made his St Johnstone debut at 16 and netted 25 goals in 144 games, 51 of them from the bench, before Colin Hendry took him to Blackpool in 2004.