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Former Premier League striker Luke Varney becomes Michael Duff's first signing

28 September 2018

Michael Duff has made his first signing as Cheltenham Town manager by bringing experienced striker Luke Varney to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Varney played in a practice game at the training ground this week, scoring a goal and hitting the woodwork twice in a 2-0 over Hartpury College, and is ready for a return to football having left his most recent club Burton Albion at the end of last season.

The Leicester-born front-runner has spent most of his career playing at Championship level and counts Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Ipswich Town among his former clubs.

Varney also made 30 appearances in the Premier League during the 2010/11 campaign with newly promoted Blackpool, scoring five goals including a winner at Anfield.

Last season he made 20 appearances for Burton in the Sky Bet Championship having helped the Brewers to defy the odds and stay in the division during the second half of the 2016-17 campaign.

"Luke is someone I know well and have known for a long time," said Michael Duff.

"I have played against him many times and I think he can add some real quality to the group.

"His experience will help, his professionalism with definitely help and his character will help the dressing room as well.

"He is a fit lad. People will question his age but I know, having played to older than he is, that as long as you still have that fitness then age is not an issue.

"In the game he played this week his numbers were better than anyone else in the team so he has shown that he can still run. Having played at a higher level as recently as last season we know that he also has the quality to improve the group.

"Luke has had offers to go elsewhere but when you get to a certain age you probably don't want to be travelling the length and bredth of the country so we can offer him something a bit closer to home.

"Having spoken to him, I know that he just wants to come and play. He hasn't come here for a payday - you don't to Cheltenham Town for that - but he knows where we're at, we know where he is at and I think it will be a good fit all round."

Varney has signed a contract to the end of the current season and will go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s home match against league leaders Lincoln City.

  • Tickets for tomorrow's game are available online. For all the information about this weekend's League Two match, read our match pack.

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