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Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 15:46 UK

Beckwith replaces Cobbler Hughes

Dean Beckwith
Beckwith made a total of 152 appearances for Hereford

Northampton have signed former Hereford defender Dean Beckwith on an initial one-year deal, meaning they have withdrawn their offer to Mark Hughes.

The 25-year-old 6ft 3ins centre-back was released by the Bulls this summer.

"He is a good age, has a good amount of games under his belt and he is a player who has impressed me," said Cobblers boss Stuart Gray.

Hughes, 22, failed to accept a new contract offer from the Cobblers before the 16 June deadline.

Beckwith was part of the Hereford squad which gained promotion from League Two just over a year ago, although he has since been relegated back with them.

"A year ago he was being linked with a move to the Championship, and I think the move here will give him a fresh start and hopefully help him kick on," said Gray.

We kept Mark's offer open for a while after the deadline, which we were not obliged to do. We did not hear back and we could not wait indefinitely for a decision and so we have moved on

Northampton boss Stuart Gray

"He is another one who has won promotion from this level before so he knows what it takes. He is also a player with a decent fitness record and is hungry to take both his career and the club forward."

The club kept the contract offer to Hughes on the table for almost two weeks beyond the regulations set out in the Football League's re-engagement procedure.

"We kept Mark's offer open for a while after the 16 June deadline, which we were not obliged to do," said the Cobblers boss.

"We did not hear back and we could not wait indefinitely for a decision and so we have moved on.

"Mark does not now have a contract offer on the table from ourselves and he has been officially notified of this in writing," added Gray.

Meanwhile, former on-loan defender Paul Rodgers has returned to Sixfields and will spend the pre-season period with the club in a bid to earn a contract having been released by Arsenal.



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see also
Hughes urged to stay at Sixfields
18 Jun 09 |  Northampton
Coke agrees new Cobblers contract
16 Jun 09 |  Northampton
Guinan rejects new role at Bulls
14 May 09 |  Hereford
Bulls sign young defender Breen
02 Jul 08 |  Hereford


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