Southend United are delighted to announce the signing of Greg Halford initially on a month-long deal.
The versatile defender, who can play in a number of positions further forward, has linked up with the Blues squad and is available to be involved against Grimsby Town tonight.
Halford boasts a wealth of experience from an 18-year career in the game, which started with local rivals Colchester United.
He’s gone on to play in the Premier League for Reading, Sunderland and Wolves, as well as representing Charlton Athletic, Sheffield United, Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest, Brighton, Rotherham, Birmingham and Cardiff in the Championship, amassing over 500 appearances in his career.
Last year he had a short stint at Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen. After putting pen to paper, he said: “I’m delighted. It’s been a long time since I played the game so I’m really looking forward to getting some games under my belt and showing that I can still do it.
“First of all, from a selfish point of view, it’s minutes, games and just playing football but in the grand scheme of things it’s about helping the manager out, helping the team out and we’ll see where it goes after that.”
Halford was fortunate enough to call upon his former manager Neil Warnock for a favour, who put him in contact with Keith Curle at Northampton Town which is where the 6ft 4in defender has been training since the start of pre-season.
And he believes he can rub his experience off on the squad and grind out results.
“I came down and watched the game on Saturday and you could see Macca [Alan McCormack] pretty much coaching everyone on the pitch, winning the tactical free kicks and slowing the game down,” he added. “Hopefully I can do the same sort of thing and guide the young players.
“The position we’re in at the minute, we have to be able to grind out results and 1-0 wins are the best wins. Hopefully with my experience coming into the team I can help in that aspect of game management.”
Coming up on Boxing Day is a big game against his former club in the Essex Derby.
“I looked at the fixture list over the weekend and Colchester popped up on Boxing Day,” said Halford. “It will be the first time I’ve played against them competitively since leaving them, which was 14 years ago now. It will be a good game, they’re doing quite well in the league but I’m here to help Southend.”
First up is tonight’s game against Grimsby Town, which he’s eligible to make his debut in.
“I’m hoping to be involved. It will be a good game, Grimsby are a passing team and like to pass through the lines.
“I’m definitely hoping to be involved in some capacity. Hopefully I can give a little boost to the team and we can get back-to-back wins.”
Halford has been assigned the number 23 shirt.