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Paul Hurst on Omar Beckles

22 August 2017

Hurst pleased to add a defender to the group

Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Hurst is pleased to be able to unveil new signing number 13 with Omar Beckles joining the club.

Beckles joins on an undisclosed fee from Sky Bet League Two side Accrington Stanley and signs a three-year deal.

Omar is someone that Paul has known about since his non-league days and he is looking forward to working with him.

“It’s taken a little while”, admitted Hurst.

“It’s one we’ve been working on for a few weeks now. He’s someone that we came across in the Conference when he was at Aldershot and we were impressed by his athleticism and we’ve kept an eye on him since then.

“At the beginning of last season he was on TV against Burnley and he was absolutely outstanding. I was very surprised that someone hadn’t gone in for him and we’ve monitored him ever since.

“He fits the kind of profile of player that we are hoping to bring to the football club and gives us that defensive cover that we’ve spent quite a while speaking about.”

Primarily a centre-half, Omar is comfortable playing in most positions in the back four and provides great flexibility in Hurst’s squad.

“He can play both sides quite comfortably”, said Paul

“He’s often been used to playing on the left-side, so he’s great from that point of view. This season he’s also played at left-back as well. I’m not saying that that’s something we’ve brought him into do, but it leaves me with Zak, Sads and Omar that could all fill in a do a job.

“He’s a good age, he’s athletic, he’s got some pace about him and I just think he fits in well with what we are looking to do.”

This will be the first time that Omar has played at League One level, but Paul is confident that he can make the step up.

“First and foremost he’s got to force his way into the team”, said Hurst.

“The first part of that is getting him integrated and seeing where he is in terms of fitness in comparison with where we want him to be in training because fitness at one club can be different to others.

“We believe that he’s a player that certainly can step up, like we’ve done with people like Bolts, so we’ve got every confidence that he will, but it’s about making him believe he’s got the ability to do that and making him feel at home with the rest of the players.”

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