FORMER Chorley and Accrington striker Marcus Carver has joined National League North side Southport.

With clubs last month voting to end the National League season, the bottom of the table Magpies have announced the departures of Carver, Louis Dodds, Adam Blakeman and Jake Cottrell after a difficult campaign at Victory Park.

And Carver has swiftly been picked up having scored 47 goals in 203 appearances across four seasons for the club.

Southport manager Liam Watson said: “Being able to bring Marcus in as our first summer signing is really exciting for the club.

"He’s a striker with a record and pedigree which speaks for itself at this level and he has played a huge part in Chorley’s success over the last few years when they were in our division.

“At 26, he’s about to come into his own and is exactly the right age to fit into the squad.

"He is a striker with many different elements to his game and he has shown he can score different types of goals.

"He’s someone who has has proven himself over a good period of time but is still relatively young and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition.”

The Blackburn-born striker scored 17 goals in Chorley's promotion-winning season as they reached the National League but announced earlier this month he would be looking for pastures new after his contract came to an end.

He had previously made 38 senior appearances for Accrington Stanley after coming through their youth set-up, moving onto the Magpies in 2016 having also spent time on loan at Halifax Town, AFC Fylde and Barrow.

Midfielder Cottrell moves on having arrived from FC United of Manchester in 2013, helping the Magpies to the Northern Premier League title in his first season at Victory Park.

Blakeman moved to Victory Park from Southport in 2016 and will be remembered for his free-kick equaliser at Halifax in the 2017 National League North play-off final, as well as scoring 12 times in the 2018/19 season, helping Chorley win their third promotion in eight years.

Dodds departs after one season at the club having joined from Port Vale on a free transfer last summer.

He made 21 appearances in all competitions before the coronavirus pandemic brought a premature halt to the campaign.