GARY Rowett is thrilled that Shane Cansdell-Sherriff has agreed to become Burton Albion’s first signing of the summer.
The 31-year-old centre-half signed a two-year deal yesterday after a successful loan spell at the Pirelli Stadium.
He was instrumental in helping Albion reach Monday’s League Two play-off final, which they lost 1-0 to Fleetwood.
And Rowett says Cansdell-Sherriff’s bravery in playing through a painful Achilles injury spoke volumes.
“He’s a great lad and a great character,” said the manager. “It showed what he’s about in the last two or three weeks when he hasn’t trained and just had several injections to play – that says it all.
“He put himself in the firing line when he wasn’t even our player.
“I’m thrilled about him signing.”
The former Tranmere man joined the Brewers on loan from Preston in September and made 34 appearances, renewing a partnership at the back from his Shrewsbury days with Ian Sharps that looked watertight at times.
“With him and Sharpsy as our first-choice central defensive partnership, I’m confident in saying I don’t think there’s a better one in League Two,” said Rowett.
“I’m really pleased to keep them both around for next season.
“Defensively we have been very, very strong – that was our strength this season.
“There’s no reason why that can’t be the same next season.”
As well as Cansdell-Sherriff’s permanent arrival, new deals have been signed by keeper Dean Lyness, right-back Phil Edwards, left-back or left winger Chris Hussey, midfielder Lee Bell, winger Marcus Harness and striker Dominic Knowles.
Deals are waiting on the table for midfielder Robbie Weir, left-back Damien McCrory and centre-halves Marcus Holness and Liam Slade.
Rowett is delighted to get many of his key men from 2013/14 signed up for another year.
Edwards, 28, was runner-up to Sharps in the player of the year awards, and Rowett says getting the defender signed on was one of his priorities.
“He’s been fantastic for us,” said the manager. “A more committed defender than him you won’t find in this league.
“He deserves another year and is very, very consistent – he’s been a big part of our success.”
Hussey, 25, automatically earned a second year at the Pirelli after making a specified number of appearances – and Rowett hopes the left-sided former Coventry man can replicate his stunning form of the beginning of the season.
“Since he came back from (a loan spell at) Bury his attitude has been fantastic,” he said. “We saw a little bit of that form from early in the season as well.
“Let’s see if we can replicate that next season.
“He’s had a mixed season but he’s showed what he’s about and has got a lovely left foot.”