BURNLEY boss Adrian Heath completed the signing of defender Richard Huxford from Bradford City today - and believes he has picked up a big bonus as the battle for promotion from Division Two gathers pace.

The 27-year-old obtained his release from the Yorkshire club and was meeting his new team-mates at Turf Moor today.

He has accepted a deal until the end of the season when the situation will be reviewed with the possibility of a permanent contract.

Huxford's chances have been limited at Bradford this season, but he was a member of their promotion-winning team last season, when he featured in more than half the matches.

He played mainly as a right back during his time at Valley Parade after joining City from Millwall in October 1994, initially on loan but then in a £50,000 transfer.

But Heath feels he has signed a very versatile player who will add a lot to his squad.

"He can play anywhere across the back and I am delighted we have been able to sign him," said the manager. "I believe he will be a real asset, giving us cover in more than one position. "I know that Bradford manager Chris Kamara didn't really want to lose him."

Kamara agreed to the move as he has other players in front of Huxford in the battle for first team places at Bradford.

"His career hasn't gone very far this season," said Kamara.

"He asked to be released from his contract and we allowed him to go free. He has done well for the club and played at Wembley.

"But his opportunities are limited and we were in a position to allow him to go."

Earlier this season, Huxford spent a month on loan at Peterborough who wanted to keep him longer but couldn't afford it.

As well as bringing in Huxford and also taking a look in training this week at French defender Olivier Saragaglia, Heath has also been busy securing the future of one of the club's home-grown prospects.

Colin Carr-Lawton has agreed a two and a half year deal - the teenage striker's first full contract.

"He couldn't wait to sign it," said the manager. "We think he has a lot of ability and if he continues to listen and learn as he is doiing at the moment then he can do well.

"He has already been on the bench and I have a lot of faith in his ability. He's got pace and wants to score goals."

ROSSENDALE Clarets have a Sportsman's Dinner at the Rose 'n' Bowl in Stacksteads next Monday night. The guest speaker will be Jackie Blanchflower and Mike King will compere. Tickets are £22 and £17 and can be booked through Bev on 01706 224924.

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