FOOTBALL League striker Adi Yussuf and Dutch centre-half Dave Nieskens have joined Barrow AFC.

Yussuf has arrived from League Two from Grimsby Town, while Nieskens has enjoyed a successive pre-season trial with the Bluebirds.

Both have signed initial one-year deals.

Yussuaf, a 25-year-old Tanzanian – from Zanzibar – had been with the Mariners since January, his time there overlapping with new AFC assistant manager Micky Moore. He pulled on a Barrow shirt for the first time in the friendly at Stockport, finding the net 13 minutes into his debut for the only goal of the game.

He has previously played for Burton Albion, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town, having come through the youth ranks at Leicester City – a couple of years ahead of new Bluebirds team-mate Harry Panayiotou.

Yussuf has previously played in the Conference for Tamworth and Lincoln, as well as appearing in Conference North for Harrogate Town, Gainsborough Trinity and Oxford City – the former two clubs on loan deals.

His 27 league goals for Oxford saw him earn a move to Mansfield, where he made 26 League Two appearances – all as a substitute – scoring five goals. He went on a six-month loan to divisional rivals Crawley Town at the start of last season, before joining Grimsby.

Nieskens has signed a one-year deal, having featured throughout the friendly campaign for the Bluebirds, playing alongside the likes of Moussa Diarra, Thierry Audel and other trialists.

The 23-year-old has spent his entire career playing in the Low Countries, both in his homeland and in Belgium, turning out for the likes of Helmond Sport in the Dutch second tier, and Belgian outfits CS Visé and KFC Houtvenne.

He was one of the players identified by the scouting network set up in Europe by AFC boss Paul Cox and chief scout Paul Ogden, following teenage French midfielder Donovan Makoma in making the switch to Holker Street. He has signed a one-year deal with the option for a second season.

The arrivals of Yussuf and Nieskens mean Barrow have 19 contracted players with the National League season less than a week away – including the injured Byron Harrison, and Joel Dixon and Andy Parry, both of whom are on short-term deals following long lay-offs with knee problems. Jimmy Dunne is also on board, on loan from Burnley until January.

Deals for at more players are in the pipeline, with the squad size of 22 – identified by both Cox and owner Paul Casson at the start of the summer – closer to finally being realised.

Yussuf’s arrival comes hot on the heels of Barrow losing striker Richie Bennett to League Two Carlisle United. The Bluebirds had offered the 26-year-old a new deal, but the Cumbrians activated a release clause in his contract with their bid in the region of £50,000.

AFC’s front-line now contains Yussuf, Panayiotou, Jordan White, Byron Harrison and Dan Cockerline.

Harrison will be out of action for the start of the season after ankle surgery, while Cockerline is close to a return to action following a long lay-off with a knee problem.

Nieskens will provide competition for Diarra, Dunne and Audel at the heart of the AFC defence, with Audel and Dunne also able to play at full-back, as can Dan Jones, brought in from Hartlepool.