Eastleigh Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of defender, Aaron Martin, on a permanent deal from Port Vale FC.

The 32-year-old defender returns to the Spitfires ahead of the 2022/23 season after 13 years away, having left the club in 2009 to join Southampton FC.

The experienced centre-back will be well known by Eastleigh supporters having risen through the youth ranks between 2003 to 2007.

The former reserves captain broke into the first team in 2008 and went on to make 41 appearances scoring four goals in that time.

Aaron has built up plenty of Football League experience in his career having spent time at Coventry City, Birmingham City, Oxford United and Exeter City.

He spent a year in Scotland at Hamilton Academical before joining Port Vale in 2021 where he would go on to make 29 appearances in League Two as the Valiants won promotion at Wembley.

Upon returning to the Silverlake Stadium, Aaron Martin said:

“This is where it all started for me, it feels like a homecoming and I want to bring success to this club.

“I decided that it’s the right time now. I’m at a good place in my life, this is where I’m from, it ticks all the right boxes.

“It’s changed massively, there’s not much at all that is the same here from when I started and that’s just a testament to the club that is pushing in the right direction. I’d love to see this club in League Two and I hope that I can be the one to help get the club where they want to be.”

Manager, Lee Bradbury, said:

“He’s a local lad coming home. He’s 32 still so he is a good age and a good leader and somebody I think will be a massive character for us this season.”

The signing of Aaron Martin is subject to FA and National League approval.

By Ricky Hart