EASTLEIGH have confirmed the return of academy graduate and former Saint Aaron Martin, with the defender back where it all started 13 years ago.

32-year-old Martin, who earnt promotion to League One with Port Vale last term, returns to the Silverlake Stadium for the first time since departing then sixth-tier Eastleigh for Saints in 2009.

The central-defender had come through the ranks at the Spitfires, joining the club in 2003, before going onto captain the reserves ahead of his first-team debut for Eastleigh.

In total, Martin made 29 appearances for Saints, including 10 Championship appearances as the south coast club made a return to the Premier League.

Martin has also represented Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, Yeovil Town, Coventry City, Oxford United, and Exeter City during his career.

In an interview with the club’s website, Martin stated: "This is where it all started for me, it feels like a homecoming and I want to bring success to this club.

"I decided that it's the right time now. I'm at a good place in my life, this is where I'm from, it ticks all the right boxes.

"It's changed massively, there's not much at all that is the same from when I started and that's just a testament to the club that is pushing in the right direction.

“I'd love to see this club in League Two and I hope that I can be the one to help get the club where they want to be."

Spitfires boss Lee Bradbury was equally as enthusiastic about the homecoming of Martin, sharing: “He’s a local lad coming home.

“He’s 32 still, so he is a good age and a good leader and somebody I think will be a massive character for us this season.”

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