Lancaster sign former Morecambe defender Hardiker

John Hardiker.
John Hardiker.

Lancaster City have signed former Morecambe defender John Hardiker.

The 31-year-old centre half came through the ranks with the Shrimps making his debut as a 16-year-old before securing a move to Stockport County in 2002.

Hardiker, from Preston, then returned to the Shrimps in 2006 after a spell at Bury and has more recently turned out for Radcliffe Borough, Warrington Town and Ashton United.

Dolly Blues boss Darren Peacock said: “He’s an experienced player. 
“I met him last Friday and he wants to get involved with the club.

“He should be able to pass on plenty of advice to the defence and especially the centre halves.

“Work commitments mean he won’t be available all the time but I’m really pleased that we’ve got him.

“I originally spoke to him last season when we were struggling with injuries and suspensions but he couldn’t commit because of work.

“He’s good friends with Lee Dodgson and it looks like a good move all round.”

At a meeting with the squad on Friday around half committed themselves to the club for next season with Peacock hoping the rest will have put pen to paper before he travels out to Barbados with some of the club’s younger players on Monday.

He said: “We signed up about half the squad when we had a meeting with the locally-based players last Friday.

“I want to get the rest done by the time we go away really.”

The trip to the Caribbean, brokered by first team coach George Norrie, will see the club take part in an invitational tournament while also trying to forge links on the island.

Peacock said: “I think it’s going to be a good life experience for the lads.

“It’s about how they perform on and off the field. They’ll be wearing the badge of Lancaster City and I think the whole trip will be a bit of an eye opener.

“We’re looking to set up some links for the club out there and there’ll be players we’ll be looking at too.

“The players are paying their own way and we aren’t going across for a jolly.

“It would be a great experience for anybody and I think it will be a big plus point in the lads’ development.”

Peacock will be away when new reserve team boss Ian Hughes along with some of the club’s senior players take the first pre-season training session at Lancaster University next Thursday, July 3.

In the latest pre-season friendly to be announced, City will travel to Euxton Villa on Thursday, July 24, in a 7.15pm kick-off.