Grimsby Town Football Club are pleased to announce the signing of centre forward Stefan Payne on an initial deal until the end of the season.
Payne becomes manager Paul Hurst's fourth signing since taking over as manager, following the striker's release from Tranmere Rovers.
The 29-year-old striker started his career as a scholar at Fulham, before signing for Gillingham in 2010 as an 18-year-old. Following his release from the Gills, Payne enjoyed a successful period in the non-league, which included a prolific spell at Dover Athletic in which he scored 44 goals and contributed with 22 assists in a two-year period.
Payne then returned to the Football League with Barnsley in 2016 and has also represented Shrewsbury Town, Bristol Rovers and most recently Tranmere Rovers.
Manager Paul Hurst knows his latest acquisition well, after signing Payne originally on loan for Shrewsbury Town in January 2017, helping to secure the club's position in Sky Bet League One, before penning a permanent deal in the summer. During his spell at the club, Payne was pivotal in their run to the EFL Trophy Final and Play-off Final during the 2017/18 season, making 49 appearances scoring 14 goals in the process.
We spoke to Payne this afternoon following his first training session with his new teammates. "I'm happy to get it sorted", said Payne. "I was speaking to the gaffer and to Doigy, I know what they're about and how they want to play so it was a no brainer for me. I'm a bit of everything really. I can get in behind, hold the ball up, score goals. My motivation is to play games, win games and score goals".
We also spoke to manager Paul Hurst who spoke of his delight to link back up with the striker.
"He's a player that I've worked with before at Shrewsbury", said Hurst. "There's no getting away from the fact that we've been on the lookout for a centre forward. He has just come back from a long term injury, but he looks in pretty good shape. After speaking to him, he is keen to get involved.
"He's got a little bit of everything. He's a strong player, he's quick and he's certainly got a little bit of edge to him. We had a successful time with him, hence the reason for getting him here and we fought off a bit of competition to get him.
"I'm hoping that he can give everyone a boost within the group. Hopefully we can get him fit and firing and get us some goals. He's holding his hands up and saying he's ready to be involved. Looking at how things are, it might be a case of getting him in the squad for tomorrow night".
Stefan will be eligible for tomorrow evening's visit to Barrow. You will be able to watch the game LIVE on iFollow Mariners.