SAM Barnes is looking forward to a new chapter having signed for Barrow AFC.

The 23-year-old has joined the Bluebirds on an initial one-year deal, but the club does have the option to extend that for a further 12 months.

A highly-rated prospect the youngster has had injury problems during his last few seasons, and is looking to kick-on having made the move to Cumbria.

He told the club’s official website: “I think it’s the right time in my career to make a fresh start and it’s the perfect club for me to make this fresh start at.

“After speaking to Iain (Wood Barrow AFC’s sporting director) and the rest of the staff here the aim is to be pushing higher up the league and I’m really excited to be a part of that.

“I’m really happy to be here, I think it’s a fantastic club to sign for and it’s a club that I’ve followed closely for the last couple of seasons with a few of my mates playing here, but I’m really excited to get it over the line.”

The move brings to an end Barnes’ 12-year association with his hometown club Blackburn Rovers.

Barnes came all the way through the youth ranks at Ewood Park and made his first-team debut in their Carabao Cup victory over Walsall last season.

Regarded as a promising talent at Rovers, he was restricted to just one first-team appearance, although he did feature in a Championship matchday squad for the Lancashire side.

The past two season have seen his progress hampered an ACL and thigh injury which has seen him sidelined for the majority of the past two seasons.

Speaking about what Bluebirds’ fans can expect to see from him, he said: “I like to think of myself as a ball-playing centre-back.

“I love playing passes through the lines, but I also like to get stuck in and win headers and be a leader on the pitch.”

Barnes is the second former Blackburn player to sign for this summer following the signing of Connor Mahoney.