23 July 2020 14:45
FORMER Athletic defender Lee Ashcroft will face his former club in the coming season after Dundee announced his signature today. The 26-year-old, who is also believed to have attracted interest from St Johnstone, has penned a two-year deal with the Dark Blues. We are delighted to announce the signing of Lee Ashcroft #thedee ➡️ pic.twitter.com/qvRfsHl8h8 — Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) July 23, 2020 Centre back Ashcroft was one of 17 players who left East End Park in May after his contract expired, with Dunfermline announcing that they were "left with no other option but to protect the future of the club itself". Vice-captain to skipper Paul Paton, another who departed this summer and subsequently joined East Kilbride, Ashcroft was signed by Allan Johnston from Kilmarnock ahead of Athletic's return to the Championship in 2016. After making 71 appearances for the Ayrshire side, he quickly became a regular in the heart of Dunfermline's rearguard, although he received a red card in his first league game for the club against Dumbarton.
In Ashcroft's second campaign with the Pars, he helped the team reach the Premiership play-offs, where they faced Dundee United in the quarter-finals. After being controversially sent off in the first leg - which was overturned on appeal - Johnston's side took the lead in the second match, only for United to fight back and claim victory. Ashcroft was then appointed captain of the side in the following season, which saw the team finish seventh and change manager, before playing 31 times last season before it was stopped because of COVID-19. In total, he made 164 appearances for the Pars, scoring 10 goals, the last of which was a winner at Queen of the South in February. Following their departures from East End, other players to secure new clubs include Tom Beadling, who signed for newly promoted English League Two side Barrow; Callum Smith, who has joined Hamilton; Andy Ryan, who has moved to Stirling Albion; and Joe Thomson, who has put pen to paper with League of Ireland Derry City.
Dundee have completed the signing of former Dunfermline captain Lee Ashcroft on a two-year deal. While both St Johnstone and Partick Thistle were both linked with the player, Dens Park was always going to be his destination. The 26-year-old central defender spent four seasons with the Pars before leaving East End Park when his contract expired last May. Ashcroft actually made his Dunfermline debut against the Dark Blues back on May 11, 2013. The recruitment of Ashcroft is the first bit of business completed by Dundee since the successful outcome of their pay-cut negotiations. In announcing the signing the club said: "Dundee Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of Lee Ashcroft on a two year deal. "Lee signs after our recent squad consultation period saw two players depart." As reported by the Tele back in June, he is viewed as an ideal addition to the Dark Blues' central defence by manager James McPake and will be a replacement Josh Meekings, who left Dens at the start of the contract talks.