Downes joins Torquay on one-year deal

Aaron Downes
Aaron Downes

Aaron Downes has signed a one-year-contract with League Two rivals Torquay United.

The former Chesterfield FC central defender put pen-to-paper this week and is expected to make his Plainmoor debut on Friday when Leeds United are the visitors.

Downes, 27, joined the Spireites in 2004 and made 184 appearances, scoring 12 goals, before being released at the end of last season.

A commanding figure at the heart of the defence, Downes played for Australia U20s and U23s and was the Blues player of the year in 2006/07.

But his career took a turn for the worse when he injured his knee in a home game against Darlington in April, 2009.

He required two cruciate ligament operations but made 22 appearances last season, including nine on loan with Bristol Rovers.

Torquay manager Martin Ling is a long-time admirer of Downes and spotted him playing a pre-season match for Yeovil against Plymouth.

Downes passed a medical at Torquay and is expected to be handed the No 4 shirt.

Ling said: “It needed somebody to take a punt on him and that is what we have done. We are very confident he will be fine. I have spoken to a lot of people about him and all have been positive.’’