Winnard relishing new challenge with Morecambe

Dean Winnard will join Morecambe on a two-year deal when his Accrington contract expires at the end of the month.
Dean Winnard will join Morecambe on a two-year deal when his Accrington contract expires at the end of the month.

Former Accrington Stanley man Dean Winnard is looking forward to a new challenge after making the move to Morecambe.

The 26-year-old will join at the end of the month after signing a two-year deal to make the switch between League 2’s Lancashire rivals.

After seven years at the Crown Ground, the former Wigan youngster believes it was time to move on.

Winnard said: “I think it’s a fresh challenge.

“When I heard about Morecambe’s interest I got this new lease of life which I think had gone a bit at Accrington.

“It’s the new challenge which excites me more than anything.

“It’s a big moment. I’m still ambitious and want to play League 1 and then maybe even higher.

“At 26 it’s now or never.”

Winnard is looking to bounce back from an injury-hit campaign that saw him make just 16 appearances as Stanley came within a whisker of promotion, missing out in the League 2 play-offs to AFC Wimbledon.

The combative defender said: “I got injured just before Christmas, a bit of a freak injury really, I snapped a pectoral muscle doing weights.

“I was out for four months with it.

“It was frustrating, especially with the season we were having, you could tell where it was going.

“It was probably one of the best seasons for Accrington and one of the worst for me.

“There were plenty of mixed emotions.”

As Jim Bentley rebuilds his Shrimps squad Winnard will offer versatility being able to play across the backline.

He said: “I’m a better centre half in my opinion.

“I signed for Accrington and got in at left back because they didn’t have one.

“That’s where it started and then as a right-footer I shifted over to right back.

“I feel like I’m best at centre half though.”