FORMER Burscough attacking midfielder Matt Parry has become Buxton FC manager John Reed’s first signing ahead of the start of the new Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign.
Parry has signed a one-year contract with the Silverlands club after spending the past eight seasons with Burscough, during which he was part of The Linnets’ 2007 Northern Premier League-winning squad, as well as featuring in the side that famously defeated Gillingham in the FA Cup in 2005.
And while the versatile forward player, who turns 27 next month, found it difficult to leave Victoria Park, he is relishing the chance of turning out for the Bucks: “I want to play for a couple of seasons in the Blue Square North and I think with Buxton I have got a great chance of achieving that.
“We played Buxton last year and, from what I saw then, they looked to be a really strong, solid non-league side, and I said to John (Reed) I couldn’t believe they didn’t get promoted last season.
“It was a bit difficult to leave Burscough. Having been at the club for eight seasons, I pretty much knew everyone there, made many friends and got on well with the fans - the manager was actually my very first assistant manager.
“But Burscough is not in the best situation at the moment, there’s a lot of unrest, and I want to play Blue Square North football.
“The first five years with Burscough were brilliant, we had that run in the league and also in the FA Cup, where we lost to Burton Albion knowing that we would have faced Manchester United. We also had a couple of good years in the Conference North.”
Having been plucked from Saturday league football, Parry played for Prescot Cables as a teenager, before joining Burscough, where he made in excess of 300 appearances over the course of eight seasons. At one stage during the 2009/10 season, Parry was on the verge of signing for Southport, but a knee injury put paid to that move.
Parry is seen as a player equally at home on the right or left of midfield and can play up front if required, and the Silverlands club has been impressed with his performance in matches against the Bucks over the past few seasons.
So what does he think he can bring to the squad?: “I have played a lot in the NPL, and the Conference North, so I will bring a fair bit of experience. I’m quick, aggressive and direct, so I bring a different option,” said Parry, who is now based in Furness Vale following a recent move from Liverpool.
He added: “I am looking forward to making a fresh start. Now is the perfect time to leave Burscough, and I am really looking forward to playing for Buxton.”
Parry is expected to be the first of a number of new signings ahead of the start of pre-season training, as manager Reed looks to bolster his attack, midfield and defence in a bid to improve on last season’s sixth-placed finish.
Buxton FC Chairman Tony Tomlinson said: “We are delighted that Matt has joined us. He is still young enough to carve out a considerable career for himself at the Silverlands, yet has already acquired bags of experience at our level.
“We are also impressed with what we know of his character. We wanted to sign him last season, but he had promised to see out the campaign with Burscough and he kept his word. He then agreed to join us and again kept his word, despite a later approach from a club at a higher level in the pyramid.”