Fulham have this afternoon confirmed that Rotherham United midfielder Ben Pringle and Bolton goalkeeper Andy Lonergan will join the club on free transfers on July 1.
Both players will sign two-year contracts – with a club option for an additional year – that will see them stay at Craven Cottage until at least 2017. Fulham had been widely linked with both players and are thought to have fought off a host of Championship rivals to capture Pringle’s signature after he decided to leave Rotherham at the end of last season.
A product of the prestigious Wallsend Boys Club, the 26 year-old began his career with West Brom, but made his big breakthrough after signing for Derby County in 2009, making 20 appearances for the Rams and being named the club’s Young Player of the Year in 2010, before joining Rotherham on a free transfer in the summer of 2009. Pringle won two successive promotions with the South Yorkshire side, scoring a crucial penalty in their League One play-off final success at Wembley and starred as Steve Evans’ side successfully beat the drop last season. He made 168 appearances in all for the Millers, scoring 22 goals.
Pringle told the club’s official website he was soon sold on the prospect of a move to London:
I’m buzzing. As soon as I knew that there was interest from Fulham I wanted to come here straight away. You just have to look at the size of the club and where they’ve been in the past – hopefully we can get there again before too long. I like to think I’ll bring energy to the team. I try to make things happen, I can cross a ball okay and try to get in little pockets.
The experienced Lonergan made his name with Preston North End and was handed his full debut for his hometown club as a sixteen year-old by David Moyes. He made more than 200 appearances for the club, twice being voted the fans’ player of the season. More recently, after a succession of loan spells, Lonergan spent a season with Leeds and made 51 league appearances in three years with Bolton. Lonergan, who is expected to provide experienced back-up to Marcus Bettinelli in the Fulham goal, said:
I’m delighted to get it all sorted. I’m happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a very well respected, historic club and it’s a place where everyone would like to play. We have a lot of potential to hopfully get back to where the Club belongs.