Broomes Sweeps In!
The Seasiders have today announced their first signing of the summer - Marlon Broomes - from Premier League new boys Stoke City.
Thirty year old Broomes was a free agent after his recent release by the Potters. His most natural position is at centre-back, although he can also play at left-back as well.
Broomes grew up supporting Birmingham City and practised martial arts as a youngster, something that could certainly come in handy at the seaside!
As a schoolboy, Broomes was regarded as one of the best central defenders in Europe. He started his career as a trainee at Blackburn Rovers. He was signed up by then Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish in 1994, but at first he could not break in to a strong first team at Ewood Park, and was consequently loaned out to Swindon Town. He made twelve appearances and scored once for them.
He returned to his parent club for the beginning of the 1997-98 season. New manager Roy Hodgson gave the young defender four appearances in the first team that season. He was also called up into the England-under-21 setup. In the following two years he made twenty-six appearances. In the 2000-01 season, he was loaned out again, this time to Queens Park Rangers where he made five appearances towards the end of the season.
After Blackburn's promotion back to the Premiership in the 2001-02 season, Broomes was released on a free transfer.
Sheffield Wednesday, who at the time were in the First Division, signed Broomes on 13 December 2001. In order for him to gain confidence and match practice, he was loaned out to Grimsby Town for three months, where he played eighteen times and scored in a 2-1 away win over holders Liverpool in the League Cup. He then returned to Wednesday and, despite playing twenty further games, was released at the end of the season.
Broomes spent the 2002 pre-season training with Burnley. However he was then offered a trial at another Championship side, Preston North End. Manager Craig Brown was impressed with Broomes and signed him on a three year contract. He played sixty-nine games for the club in a three year spell.
In 2005, he was signed by another Championship side, Stoke City, on a three year contract. His transfer was a swap deal which involved Lewis Neal heading in the opposite direction. Broomes played in forty-one games, mainly at full-back, not his natural position, and scored twice as the club finished in 13th place in the 2005-06 season.
He ruptured his achilles tendon prior to the start of the 2006-07 season and spent the entire season on the sidelines as a result. He played in his first game for over twelve months on 10 August 2007 in a 1-0 friendly win against Alsager Town. However, he made no appearances in the 2007-08 season. In summer 2008, following Stoke's promotion to the Premier League, he was released along with club captain and long term servant Dominic Matteo, another rumoured Seasiders target.
His deal with Blackpool is believed to be an initial one year one with an option for a further year, and Broomes will officially join the Seasiders on 1st July.