BRADFORD (Park Avenue) have signed former Bradford City stopper Alex Laird.

The 20-year-old defender joins Garry Thompson's side ahead of the 2019/20 season having played twice before for the Bantams.

Bradford born-and-bred, Laird earned a professional contract at Avenue's local neighbours under Stuart McCall at 18-years-old having impressed in the reserves.

Laird debuted professionally in the Checkatrade Trophy in October 2017.

He came on as a substitute in the 77th minute against Manchester City's Development Squad in a game that City won 2-1.

The stopper then got a full game in the next Checkatrade Trophy fixture against Rotherham United, with the Bantams going on to top their group.

But, just as it was getting going, Laird's season was cruelly ended by an Achilles injury and was released while still recovering in May 2018.

The youngster spent last season at Albion Sports in the North East Counties Premier Division, working hard to regain his fitness.

His reward is being welcome to Horsfall Stadium and Thompson was excited to secure Laird's signature.

The manager said: "Alex typifies what we are looking for in our squad.

"He has obvious ability but has had some adversity in his young career and has shown the character to get himself fit and get match time at a lower level in order to prove himself and be ready for an opportunity when it arises.

"Alex has a good solid base of development behind him, he is a local lad and he has shown he has the talent to succeed.

"We’re excited to have him and provide the platform and environment for him to shine and make a name for himself at Horsfall."

Laird himself expressed his delight at joining Avenue.

He said: "Being a Bradford local, I know the club well and it will be an honour to pull on the shirt and represent such an historic club.

"I spoke to Garry and was impressed with the club's direction and the chance to be a part of the new changes and a new era at the club was ideal timing."