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Saturday 23 August 2014

Baird joins Baggies

Published 07/07/2014 | 11:53

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Chris Baird joins West Brom after his short-term Burnley deal expired

West Brom have announced the signing of defender Chris Baird on a one-year contract.

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The versatile 32-year-old was available on a free transfer after the expiry of a short-term deal at newly-promoted Burnley.

The Northern Ireland international is the Baggies' third signing of the summer after Joleon Lescott and Craig Gardner.

West Brom's new head coach Alan Irvine said: "Chris is a player with vast Premier League and international experience who reads the game well and has good positional sense.

"He can play in several positions and his versatility effectively makes your squad bigger.

"It's important we have the right characters in the dressing room and Chris is certainly that.

"We have done our homework on him. I have spoken to a lot of different people who have either managed or played with Chris and everyone spoke very, very highly of him both as a player and a person."

Baird, who has 65 international caps, boasts plenty of Premier League experience after six years with Fulham.

He left Craven Cottage for Reading last summer but ended the campaign as a member of Burnley's promotion-winning side.

He began his career with Southampton and has also had spells with Watford and Walsall.

West Brom technical director Terry Burton said: "We see Chris as an ideal addition to the squad we are building for the new season.

"The great thing about Chris is that he can provide competition and cover for so many positions, particularly at full-back, where we're still looking to strengthen both at left- and right-back.

"He is a player the club have looked at signing on several occasions.

"I know Chris from my Watford days and Roy Hodgson loved working with him at Fulham."

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