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Luke Hannant is thrilled to be making return to Cambridge United after signing from Port Vale

Luke Hannant has joined Cambridge United.
Luke Hannant has joined Cambridge United.

New Cambridge United signing Luke Hannant described his decision to join the club as a ‘no-brainer’, after agreeing a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old midfielder signed from Port Vale yesterday (Tuesday), and is the U’s first summer signing.

A member of United’s Academy and youth team before leaving in 2012, Hannant could not be happier to be back at the place where he started his career.

He said: “As soon as I found out there was an opportunity to come back to Cambridge United, it was a no-brainer for me, and my family are equally pleased for me to have the chance to return to Cambridge.

“It’s really nice to come back and work together with a few familiar faces. Bonz (Mark Bonner, assistant head coach) was my youth team coach at the time and Matt Walker (head of performance) was here too when I first came in at 15.

“It’s great to move somewhere where people know how I work and what my attributes are.”

Impressive spells at Dereham Town and Northumbria University saw Hannant picked up by Gateshead in 2016.

In January last year he joined Port Vale where he made more than 65 appearances.

He continued: “The experience I have gained since I was last here has been massive because I don’t feel at that time I was quite ready to go into the professional game.

“Working my way back up has really helped me to mature and allowed me to not take anything for granted and work as hard as I can.”

United head coach Colin Calderwood is pleased to have signed a player whose versatility will provide useful options next season.

“Luke has good experience in senior football and caught my eye against us at the Abbey,” said Calderwood.

“He can create from wide off of both feet and is one that I feel brings different options and additional goal threat. His industry and work rate stood out to all the staff.”

Cambridge United's head of football Ben Strang said: "We’re delighted to welcome Luke back to the club. Having left the club after his scholarship, he has since taken a slightly unusual path back in to the professional game, which gives him terrific drive and enthusiasm.

“He performed well for Port Vale last season, has played an impressive number of minutes over the last few seasons, and has demonstrated that he can create goal scoring chances.

“We believe that Luke’s energy and endeavour will be hugely valuable in the way in which Colin wants to play.”

United announced last week that Leon Davies and Tom Knowles have signed two year deals at the club, which will keep them contracted until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Jabo Ibehre has also opted to take up a one-year extension to his existing contract that he triggered last season.

But Brad Halliday and David Amoo both opted to leave the U’s.

They were offered new deals but have rejected the extensions and will leave at the end of their current contracts.

Full-back Halliday joined from Middlesbrough in August 2016 and made 123 appearances for the U’s. He has signed for League One Doncaster Rovers on a two-year deal.

Winger Amoo spent two seasons at the U’s after making the switch from Partick Thistle in the summer of 2017. He made 76 appearances.

Talks with Gary Deegan, George Maris and young goalkeeper Finley Iron are ongoing, with all three having been offered extensions to their current contracts.

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