Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt is delighted he's been able to bring in a player he's been interested in signing since his took charge last summer after securing the services of midfielder Mark Waddington.

The 22-year-old signed for the Bluebirds last Friday after being released by Championship club Stoke City, where he had spent the last four years without being able to break into their first-team.

Prior to his time with the Potters, Waddington had come through the academy to break into Blackpool's senior side and was at Bloomfield Road that Evatt first became aware of him.

Just over a year after the AFC boss had left the Seasiders to return to Chesterfield, Waddington made his first-team debut for them and while his move to Stoke didn't eventually work out, he now has the chance to kick-start his career at Holker Street.

Evatt said: "Mark was actually a player we tried to sign last summer, but it wasn't quite the right time for both him and us and it didn't quite work out, although we continued to monitor his progress.

"Obviously, after he left Stoke he became available. I know a lot about him - he came through the ranks at Blackpool and Stoke paid a hell of a lot of money for him.

"He's played in the Championship at a young age, he has a fantastic pedigree and when you can get players like that for the right price, try and develop them and try to create assets to make us sustainable, he fits that profile.

"Obviously, I know a hell of a lot of people at Blackpool and he became talked about a lot and he was highly recommended to me last summer from a number of people.

"We tracked him and tried to sign him and it didn't work out, but we've managed to get him this summer, which is excellent."

Just a couple of days after welcoming his sixth summer signing to the club, Evatt and his backroom staff put on their boots to take part in the Bluebirds Trust's five-a-side tournament at Pulse Soccer.

The 37-year-old wasn't the only former player with Premier League experience in his side, with his assistant Peter Atherton, who has over 350 top-flight appearances to his name, also involved.

Evatt was only too happy to give something back to the town, saying: "It's important that I do things like this for the community.

"Me being me, I obviously want to win, but I've got up and left my house at half-past-five this morning to go get here, so it's important I show that willingness to give something back to a town that is giving me everything at the moment."