Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton wants his younger players to follow the example set by new signing Peter Clarke

Peter Clarke
Peter Clarke
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Joey Barton wants his younger players to follow the example set by Fleetwood Town's new signing Peter Clarke.

The-37-year-old has been training at Town for the majority of pre-season and could now feature in the opening day fixture at Peterborough United after signing a one-year deal.

Clarke was released by Oldham Athletic in the summer, and after impressing on trial, Barton snapped him up.

He wants the experienced defender to use his expertise to help his young defenders as well as setting an example through his training and performances.

Barton said: "He has a desire to be a footballer.

"It is easy to go 'he is a senior statesman' and all the things that go around it.

"But I always believe age is a state of mind.

"There are a lot of us who know 24-year-olds who are 48 in their head.

"Then you get the other side of that, however old Hilly (Clint Hill) is and the Peter Clarkes who think they are 21!

"We have some younger centre-halves James Hill, Harrison Holgate and Nathan Sheron who need his expertise.

"It is all well and good the coaching staff doing that but we need that out on the pitch.

"I think all the new signings have embraced that in their own way.

"It is not about coaches barking orders; that is part of what we do but it is about players leading players and demanding and driving each other on - not only on the training ground but on the pitch on a Saturday.

"Peter has come in; he has been first class in everything he has done.

"He has shown our lads multiple examples of how you can have longevity in your career and do great things if you do the right things.

"In Portugal he was doing his own stretching and doing his rehabilitation work at 10pm at night in the gym.

"That goes in by osmosis with our younger players when you see our younger players wanting to be great professionals and wanting to maintain their bodies and they see how it is done.

"He is a credit to his profession."