Mark Yates made Simon Walton his first recruit at Crawley Town, and believes the midfielder will be a crucial cog in his team.Walton was released by fellow Sky Bet League 2 outfit Stevenage at the end of last season, and he has vast experience of The Football League having made nearly 300 appearances for the likes of Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Plymouth Argyle and Hartlepool United, amongst others.
The 27-year-old played 33 times in 2014/15 as Stevenage made the Play-Offs and, following his departure from the club, Yates was quick to make his move, snapping him up on a two-year deal.
“I’m delighted to make my first signing as manager and very pleased it’s Simon, who I think is going to be a terrific asset for us in midfield,” the manager told Crawley's official website.
“He’s great in possession and really looks after the ball. He’s also got good set-piece delivery and he knows what this division is all about.
“I saw him a few times for Stevenage last season and I was pleasantly surprised he became available at the end of the season. I’m delighted he’s agreed to come here, he’s going to play a big part for us.”
Midfielder Walton added: “It’s great to at the club and I am really looking forward to working with Mark Yates.
“League 2 is tough but Mark knows the division well and he has got some exciting plans in terms of the players he wants to bring in and the way he wants to play.
“It’s an exciting challenge at this stage of my career and one I am really looking forward too.”
Yates has also secured the services of Joe McNerney on a two-year contract from Woking, for whom the defender made more than 250 appearances.