Pickering Town have welcomed back homegrown talent Eddie Cass ahead of the 2024-25 season.

The central defender first joined the club aged eight, playing for every age group from the Under 9s to the Under 19s before making his first-team debut in 2011.

He has since gone on to make over 60 appearances for the Pikes during his three spells at the club.

Cass arrives back at Mill Lane with a wealth of experience gained both in the UK and across the pond.

After plying his trade with both the Pikes and Bridlington Town, he moved to the USA, where he won the Cascade Conference Defender of the Year with Rocky Mountain College.

He returned to Ryedale during the 2017-18 season, helping Pickering to promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One East, but joined Hemsworth Miners Welfare midway through the following season.

Being made captain, the defender later followed manager Wayne Benn to Ossett United, but was blighted by injury during both his time in West Yorkshire and upon his return to the Pikes in 2022.

He subsequently joined fellow NCEL Premier Division side Knaresborough Town, where he was an ever-present as they earned an eighth-placed finish last season.

An accomplished centre-back, Cass is known for his aerial ability, organisation and leadership, something that manager Tony Hackworth told the club he believed was lacking as they narrowly avoided relegation last season.

Hackworth enthused: “Signing a player of Eddie’s quality is fantastic for the club. He’s a local lad who knows the club inside out.

“[Defence] is a position on the pitch I was looking to strengthen when the season finished, and I’m obviously delighted to finally get it done.

“Eddie brings vast experience at this level and is a real leader on the pitch and in the dressing room, something I felt that we needed.”