Reds boss tips new duo to make impact

Sign here: Barnsley director Don Rowing, left, and manager Keith Hill oversee Craig Davies signing on
Sign here: Barnsley director Don Rowing, left, and manager Keith Hill oversee Craig Davies signing on
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BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill is backing new signings Craig Davies and David Perkins to blossom in the Championship next season.

Sought-after Chesterfield striker Davies became the latest player to team up with Hill yesterday, the new manager’s second signing in as many days. Colchester United midfielder Perkins penned a two-year pre-contract agreement on Monday - and Davies quickly followed suit, signing a similar contract at Oakwell yesterday having agreed to test himself in the English second tier.

Last season the Spireites striker sparkled with 25 goals, 23 of which came in the league as the club romped to the League Two title.

Fellow Championship side Reading expressed their interest in Davies, but Hill beat the Royals to secure the 25-year-old’s signature.

Both players will officially join the club on July 1 when they become free agents.

“Craig has got great potential, he’s a very exciting talent,” Hill told The Star.

“He did really well for Chesterfield last season and deserves his chance in the Championship. He’s got a lot of potential and is an ambitious player, he’s a very good signing for us.

“It’s great to have got him and David in the building, it’s just the start of what we’re trying to do at the club.”

Davies said he was “sad” to leave Chesterfield but admitted he had to go because he wanted to prove himself as a Championship player.

Perkins, who celebrates his 29th birthday later this month, was Colchester’s best player last season and swept the honours at the club’s end of season awards. He played almost every game for the U’s in an inspired season which saw him win the club’s Player of the Year award, Players’ Player of the Year accolade and Supporters’ Player of the Year award.

Perkins started his career with Morecambe Town in 2000 and played nearly 200 games for the club in a seven-year spell. His move to Rochdale, where he played under Hill, followed before a six-figure move to the U’s in July 2008.

He has loan spells at Chesterfield and Stockport, before returning to have arguably the best season of his career last term having established as U’s first team regular.

“He’s a little pocket rocket,” Hill said of Perkins. “I’m the sure the fans will appreciate his energy and style of play.”

Hill stressed: “He should be judged on what he does for us rather than where’s he’s come from.”

Meanwhile, Barnsley are urging fans to vote, before the July 31 deadline, on who is the club’s greatest ever player.

Factfile

NAME: Craig Martin Davies

AGE: 25

height: 6ft 2ins

clubs: Manchester City (2003), Oxford United (2004-06), Hellas Verona (2006-07), Wolves (2006-07, loan), Oldham Athletic (2007-2009), Stockport County (2008, loan), Brighton & Hove Albion (2009-10), Yeovil Town (2009, loan), Port Vale (2010, loan), Chesterfield (2010-11)

club games: 215 plus 54 as substitute

INTERNATIONAL: Wales Under-17, U19 and U21s, plus five appearances for the senior side. Is one of only four players to have scored a hat-trick for Wales U-21.

last season: Scored 25 goals, 23 of which helped Chesterfield win the League Two title and promotion.

Random stat: Became the first player to score at the Spireites’ new B2net Stadium - and also the first player to be sent off at the ground a month later.

Weird point: Born in Burton-upon-Trent - but seemingly detested by Burton Albion fans.