Former Shamrock Rovers defender Max Blanchard joins and leaves Newport County

Fri, Feb 17 2017

The Frenchman's fan club turned out for Rovers' 2-0 victory over St Patrick's Athletic in June 2016. Credit: Macdara Ferris

Former Shamrock Rovers defender Max Blanchard signed a short-term deal with English League Two strugglers Newport County - and left after playing just one game.

 

The 30-year-old Frenchman had been a free agent since cancelling his contract with the Hoops in July of 2016, after playing his final game in a 2-0 loss to Cork City in April..

 

He made his debut for the Exiles in a 0-0 draw with league leaders Doncaster Rovers but, despite impressing in midfield for the league's bottom club, he was let go immediately afterward.

 

Blanchard has plenty of experience in the lower leagues in England, having had spells with Tranmere Rovers and Plymouth Argyle, where he was named Player of the Year in 2011-12.

 

He linked up with Rovers ahead of the 2015 season and became a quick fan favourite, scoring four goals in 26 appearances, including a double in a 3-2 victory over Longford Town in May 2015.

 

“Max has joined us on a game by game arrangement because we have a need and because he loves playing football,” County manager Graham Westley said.

 

“Those are the people I want at our club, people who talk about passion for the game and people who respect the privilege of being a professional footballer.

 

“Max has experience, quality and grit. Right here, right now – that’s what we need.”

 

In spite of his comments, Westley confirmed on Valentine's Day that Blanchard had left the club after just four days.

 

"Max was game-to-game. He's moved on and we wish him well," he said.