Harrogate Town have announced that Phil Barnes is their first signing for the 2014-2015 season.
Phil, 35, joins Town from Skrill North rivals Gainsborough Trinity and brings with him a valuable range of experience.
Starting his career at Rotherham, he went on to cost Blackpool £100,000 in 1997. Phil enjoyed a successful seven year stay with the Seasiders, in which he won the Division Three Play-offs and the Football league trophy twice.
Phil then joined Sheffield United and was part of their squad that achieved promotion to the Premiership in the 2005-2006 season. During his stay at Bramall Lane he also made loan appearances at Torquay United and Queens Park Rangers.
Grimsby Town became his new home between 2006-2009 and he won their 2007-2008 supporters Player of the Season award and a Football League Trophy runner’s up medal the same year.
Phil joined the non-league circuit in 2009 when he joined Gainsborough Trinity for the first time. He left the Northolme briefly in 2012 to play for Alfreton but soon returned to Trinity for the 2013-2014 campaign.
Speaking about his new signing, Town manager Simon Weaver said: Phil has been outstanding against us in every game I have seen him play. He is a very vocal goalkeeper who will command his area and defence. He is a first rate shot stopper and I am sure that the players and fans alike will soon take Phil to their hearts.
When asked what drew him to Harrogate Town, Phil replied: First of all I have to say that I’m absolutely made up to be a part of the club, all I want to do now is get started. I met Simon and his ambition, the way the club is set up and the way it wants to head is what I want. It is a club that wants to go forward and I wanted to be a part of that It had been a tough season at Gainsborough and I was surprised to be asked to meet Simon, but after hearing what he said about the club and his plans, I jumped at the opportunity to join.
With Phil signing, the club are aware that speculation will be rife about Craig MacGillivray. Commenting on this, Simon said: Craig is expected to leave in the next couple of days as a league club has approached both him and us. Negotiations are at an advanced stage and we are just awaiting the paperwork to be completed. We will release more information when we are able to do so.
Photography by Peter Arnett