Widnes have announced the signing of vastly experienced midfielder Michael Burns.
The 28-year-old has agreed terms to sign for his hometown club and is eligible to face FC Oswestry Town tomorrow night.
Burns began his career as a teenager at Liverpool, winning the FA Youth Cup in back-to-back seasons and representing England Under 16s, where he scored on his debut in a 4-2 win over Wales.
He later joined Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2007, having been signed by Sammy Lee before moving to Carlisle United in January 2009, where he made his Football League debut against Walsall one month later.
Burns has since drifted into Non-League, with spells in the Football Conference at Newport County, Guiseley and Vauxhall Motors. He moved to Welsh Premier League side Gap Connah’s Quay in 2014, where he helped the Nomads qualify for the Europa League for the first time in the club’s history.
Speaking about his move to the club, Burns said: “I’ve been approached a couple of times to join Widnes over the last year or two but the circumstances weren’t right at the time.
“I’ve been training with the lads for a couple of weeks now and can see how Joey (Dunn) and the staff want to play, and it suits my game perfectly.
“My first aim is to get into the side but the lads are flying at the moment so it won’t be easy.
“I’m a Widnes lad who has played a few years as a pro so I will look to help out on and off the field this season and beyond.”
Manager Joey Dunn spoke of his delight at his latest capture, saying: “We are delighted to welcome Michael Burns to the club.
“He is no stranger to local football aficionados who will know him from the Widnes area.
“He is a Widnes lad born and bred and has enjoyed a great career in the professional game, starting at Liverpool before spending a few years in the Non-League scene.
“He has been out of the game for a few months, but came to our attention through local channels and once we got a sense of his appetite to get back in the game and play for Widnes, it was a no-brainer.
“It may be a week or two before Burnsy is ready for a full 90 minutes, but once he is up to speed, we have a real top drawer player on our hands.
“He has been immensely impressive in training so we are all looking forward to him being on the pitch in a Widnes shirt, and again he is somebody who lives a stone’s throw from the ground.”