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York City fight off competition to sign Alex Lawless
YORK City fought off the challenge of two Football League clubs to make Forest Green utility man Alex Lawless their seventh summer signing.
Lawless, 26, has signed a one-year deal for the Minstermen after coming to the end of his contract at the New Lawn, where he has spent the past three seasons.
The former Fulham trainee, who has also played for Torquay United, netted a spectacular goal past ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll for Forest Green against FA Cup opponents Derby in January before later getting sent off in the 4-3 defeat.
He also suffered a hairline fracture to his leg in the Gloucester club’s 2-1 April defeat at Bootham Crescent but has made a full recovery.
The former Welsh Under-21 international can play in a variety of different positions and City manager Martin Foyle said: “Alex is an Andy McWilliams type who can do various roles.
“He’s played most of his career at right-back but also had a lot of games on the right side and centre of midfield.
“He’s competent in all three positions and I would have no hesitation playing him in any of them.
“He’s a good footballer and a strong Conference player who will be a good asset for the club.
“I’ve been keeping tabs on him since I was coaching at Wrexham and we’ve beaten off a couple of League clubs for his signature.”
City right-back Ben Purkiss, meanwhile, has been selected for Great Britain’s World Student Games football team.
The competition, which sees GB pitted against Serbia, Mexico and Ghana in the group stages, is from June 30 to July 12.
Purkiss goes with Foyle’s blessing despite missing the start of pre-season training and the club’s first friendly at home to Leeds United.
The City boss added: “Hopefully this will make up for the fact Ben missed out on an England ‘C’ appearance due to injury last season.”
Foyle is also optimistic an amicable agreement can be reached with Barnsley over the transfer of striker Onome Sodje.
Despite offering Sodje a new deal in April, the Minstermen are expected to miss out on a compensation fee for the 20-year-old forward because he was playing for the club on a non-contract basis due to his lack of a work permit.
That has now been resolved, allowing Championship club Barnsley to acquire the Nigeria-born frontman’s services for free.
City are hoping, however, the FA will still consider an appeal for compensation.
Foyle added: “There will be no falling out with Barnsley. I did my ‘A’ licence with their manager Simon Davey.
“He is a decent lad and a good friend who will deal with things properly at his end. The two chairmen have a good relationship as well and everybody wants everything done the right way.”
Following Sodje’s departure, Foyle added he may recruit another striker to join Richard Brodie, Michael Rankine, Richard Pacquette, Adam Boyes and Michael Emmerson on the roster.
He said: “We are still hoping to bring in two or three players and there’s scope to strengthen.”