Barnet clinch first signing of the summer in midfielder Tom Champion.Barnet FC are delighted to announce their first signing of the summer in midfielder Tom Champion, who has joined the club on a two-year deal.
The 29-year-old joins the Bees after leaving Cambridge United this summer, having spent two successful years at the Abbey Stadium that saw him help the U’s to promotion from the Conference via the play-offs as well as lifting the FA Trophy at Wembley - all before captaining the side in their first season back in the Football League.
Commenting on his move to The Hive, Tom revealed that he is delighted to have joined the club and is looking forward to helping them continue their recent success back in the Football League:
“I am over the moon to get it done. Coming off the back of a very successful season the club are clearly on a high and I am really excited to get going.
“I met the manager and really liked what he had to say, it seems like the club is pushing on in the right direction and is going to use the success that they had last season to really try and kick on again this year and I really wanted to buy into that.”
Born in Barnet, Champion first began his career with the Bees as part of Paul Fairclough’s Conference-winning squad in 2004/05.
Having gone on to enjoy successful spells with both Bishop’s Stortford and Dartford before joining Cambridge in 2013, the six foot three midfielder says that it feels good to be back with the club where it all started for him:
“It is brilliant and feels like I have gone full circle. I was a young man last time I was here just trying to make my way in the game, but I have matured a lot since then and after a really successful time at Cambridge I am very excited to be starting a new chapter now.
“It is a club that I am familiar with having been here a long time ago but they have always been close to my heart. I grew up not too far from the area so have always been familiar with how they are getting on and obviously they had a superb year last season so I am just pleased to be involved and hopefully I can help them kick on.”
Having made a total of 46 appearances for Cambridge last season in League Two, Tom believes that he can use that experience to help his new teammates as they look to hit the ground running back in the Football League:
“I feel like I can help the boys in that sense. There will be lots of players that have played in the league before and even higher but there will be one or two that maybe haven’t that I would hope to be able to help along.
“As a slightly more experienced player hopefully I can lend some advice to the younger lads and I am really looking forward to helping them in their first year back in the Football League.”
Meanwhile, Martin Allen was full of praise for his new signing, and is confident that he will prove to be a valuable addition to the Bees’ squad:
“I have known about Tom for a good few years, and wherever he has been he has always been successful.
“He has been captain at Cambridge for the last two years and in my mind it is always good to sign captains.
“He has an excellent work ethic and he will fit into our group very well.”