BRETT Ormerod’s career went full circle on Monday when the former Stanley striker returned to Accrington.
James Beattie’s squad reported back for pre-season training this week and among the new faces were Ormerod.
New, that is, to the current Stanley players as it is 17 years since he left the Reds, making a £50,000 move to Blackpool in March 1997.
The 37-year-old remains in contact with Beattie, however, with the pair having been strike partners at Premier League Southampton between 2001 and 2005.
Ormerod is looking for a new club after his two-year deal with Conference Premier side Wrexham expired this summer.
Beattie was glad to let his former team-mate link up with the Reds at Accrington & Rossendale College on Monday and admits there could be an offer on the table for Ormerod.
“Brett’s training with us and has expressed an interest in coming to join us,” said the Stanley boss.
“I would let him train anyway because he’s a good friend and it’ll be great for some of the younger lads to look at Brett and take on some of his habits and professionalism.
“He mentioned to me that it’s his 22nd pre-season, which shows his experience at these things.
“He’s a great lad so I think he would be training even if there wasn’t anything there for him, but hopefully we can come up with something which is beneficial for both parties.”
After being an apprentice at Blackburn, Ormerod was released by Rovers in 1995 and arrived at the Crown Ground that summer, initially as a reserve-team player.
The youngster was swiftly promoted to the Stanley first team and scored 32 goals in 54 games in the Northern Premier League, alerting Blackpool’s attention. He later moved to Southampton and Preston before returning to Blackpool in 2009.
Having claimed 12 goals in 74 league games for Wrexham, he’s now scored 107 times in the top five divisions of English football. He played 37 games for Wrexham last term.
Another out-of-contract player to join the Reds for the start of pre-season is Cameron Belford.
The 25-year-old keeper is a free agent following Tamworth’s relegation from the Conference Premier and is also no stranger to Stanley. He played five games on loan from Bury during the 2012/13 season.
Beattie currently has only one keeper in his first-team squad after Stanley confirmed that Ian Dunbavin had left the club. That leaves promising 19-year-old Andrew Dawber, who has only made four starts so far.
With youth-team products James Jenkins, Liam Goulding and Luke Greaves having signed professional deals, Beattie now has 17 contracted players in his first-team squad.
And although Peter Murphy has left for Wycombe, Beattie expects centre-half Tom Aldred to be staying put. Last season’s Player of the Year has been linked with several clubs over the summer.
“I think all the lads here now will stay here,” Beattie added. “There have been whispers of players leaving but I’ve had no personal enquiries, which leads me to believe it was all speculation.”