Ex-Pool defender is sixth in at Town

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FLEETWOOD Town have continued their summer signing spree by adding the former Blackpool left-back Paul Edwards to their squad.

The 31-year-old moves to Highbury on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract with Town’s Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Barrow.

The pacy defender made 28 appearances for Blackpool in the 2004-5 season before moving on to Oldham.

Edwards becomes Town’s sixth signing of the summer, following Keith Briggs, Richard Brodie, Matty Hughes, Andrew Mangan and Peter Till.

And two more recruits look to be imminent as chairman Andy Pilley practises what he preaches about signing summer targets early.

Pilley said: “We have a clear strategy. We drew up a list of players as soon as the season concluded and we have acquired every one on that list. Our success rate is 100 per cent.

“We didn’t want to be going through the leftovers and getting players the other clubs don’t fancy. We made it our business to go out and get the very best available, and hopfully achieve our dream of promotion.”

Pilley added that terms had been agreed with another “outstanding” signing, leaving a goalkeeper as the only remaining item on the shopping list.

As for Edwards, the chairman said: “We are delighted to have secured Paul’s services. He’s very experienced and top quality. He plays a lot of games, is a very fit lad and will be a real asset to the team.”

Edwards said: “I’ve definitely got a lot to offer. I bring experience and had a year and a bit in this league with Barrow. I know the league well and have done well in it, so I’m sure I’ll continue to here.

“I got 45 games under my belt last season and I always put the hard graft it. Fleetwood is a beautiful place to play football and I’m glad I’ve got everything sorted out.”

Edwards, who began his career at Manchester City, also had stints with Crewe, Doncaster, Wrexham and Port Vale before finally joining Barrow in March last year.

He played in both Conference clashes with Fleetwood last season. Town won both, including the Easter Monday victory which sealed their play-off place.”

Manager Micky Mellon is on holiday but Pilley says they remain in regular contact with a view to adding the final pieces to their squad jigsaw without delay.

“We are still speaking pretty much all day every day,” he said.

“One or two more are all we need. We have reached agreement with what we consider an outstanding player, who will sign next week.

“We are looking for another goalkeeper and hopefully we will have that position filled very soon, then that will be us.”

Interviews: Derick Thomas