ATLANTA(December 2, 2011) — The Silverbacks have signed MARTYN LANCASTER, making the veteran defender the first new face to be added to the 2012 roster, pending USSF approval.
Lancaster’s name is familiar to many Atlantans, because he spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons playing for the Silverbacks when the team competed in the USL. Last season, Lancaster played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who were the runners-up in the NASL championship; the team’s fans voted him the Strikers’ Player of the Year.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to bring in Martyn, who just finished a season as one of the key leaders on a team that went to the NASL championship game,” said Silverbacks Director of Soccer Rodrigo Rios. “He is reliable and has good abilities, and I think he will help improve our defense tremendously.”
A native of Wigan, England, the 31-year-old defender began his career in his home country, playing for Chester City F.C. from 1998-2003. He made more than 100 appearances for the club before eventually moving onto a trio of English clubs, Leigh RMI, Northwich Victoria and Southport, where he played from 2004-2006.
In 2006, Lancaster came to the United States to play professionally for the Wilmington Hammerheads (N.C.). The 6-foot-1 defender landed in Atlanta one year later, establishing himself as a solid defensive player for the Silverbacks during the team’s run to the USL championship game.
After one more season in Atlanta, the Cartersville resident continued his career in Scotland and Sweden, playing for Queen of the South FC and Ljungskile SK in 2009.
Lancaster returned to the United States in 2010, signing with Miami FC, a club that has since changed its name to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Only one player in the NASL played more minutes, including playoff games, than Lancaster last season. The veteran’s experience and leadership is expected to enhance a Silverbacks backline that had an average age of 23 in 2011.
The Silverbacks made an additional roster move on Friday, announcing that the team has declined to pick up the option of defender JOSH CASARONA.