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Full Name: Lionel Glenn Robert Ainsworth
Born: 01 October 1987
Came from: Motherwell Went to:
First game: 05 August 2017 Last game: 01 May 2018
Appearances: 24 (5/19) Goals: 0
Born in Nottingham, Ainsworth began his football as a trainee with Derby County, where he signed his first professional contract in August 2005. In those development years he was awarded England caps at under-16, 17, 18 and 19 levels.
The winger made his Football League debut as an 89th minute substitute for Derby against Argyle, in a February 2006 Championship fixture that saw the Pilgrims' Paul Connolly sent off. In all, Ainsworth managed just two substitute appearances for Derby, in a spell that also included loans to AFC Bournemouth, Halifax Town and Wycombe Wanderers.
He was released by Derby County in the summer of 2007, and that August signed for Hereford United for their second season back in the Football League. He established himself quickly, scoring a hat-trick in his second game, and his form soon attracted interest. He was loaned to Watford in November 2007 after 19 games and eight goals for the Bulls, a loan spell that was converted to a full transfer in the following January's transfer window for an undisclosed six-figure fee.
During his time at Watford, Ainsworth was also loaned back to Hereford to gain match practice, and topped up his record there with a further three goals in seven games.
Although his contract at Vicarage Road was for two and a half years, he was on the move after just 20 games in 12 months, this time to Huddersfield Town on another two-and-a-half year deal. In total he made 31 appearances across two seasons for Huddersfield, without scoring, and was also sent on loan to Brentford in the 2009-10 season, playing nine times without scoring.
Ainsworth then signed a two-year deal with Shrewsbury Town during the summer of 2010, this time on a free transfer. He went on to score 11 in 64 games over two seasons for the Shrews, and was also loaned to Burton Albion for the last two months of the 2011-12 season, where he played seven times but failed to score.
In May 2012 he was released by Shrewsbury and signed instead for Rotherham United, playing in the club's first competitive game at their new home, the New York Stadium. His spell in South Yorkshire included two loan spells: to Aldershot in 2012-13 (7 games) and Motherwell in 2013-14, for whom he had a highly productive 31-game spell in which he scored 11 times.
Not surprisingly, Ainsworth then moved to Fir Park on a permanent contract, and over the next three Scottish Premiership seasons played an additional 107 games, scoring 16 goals. Having signed a new two-year contract in June 2015, he declined an extension in June 2017 and chose instead to accept the offer to become Derek Adams' first summer signing after Argyle's promotion to League One.
With nearly 350 first team games to his credit, the 29-year-old's decision to travel 500 miles south was influenced by favourable words about Home Park life from an ex-Pilgrim at Fir Park, Carl McHugh.
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APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
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