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Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:35 UK

Southend sign Plymouth Argyle defender Chris Barker

Chris Barker
Barker made 58 appearances for Plymouth during his two-year spell

Southend United have signed defender Chris Barker from Plymouth Argyle on a free transfer.

The 30-year-old, who arrives on a two-year deal, has been on loan at Roots Hall since the start of the season and has made six appearances.

"I'm delighted to get someone of his experience," manager Paul Sturrock told BBC Essex.

"Chris has done really well for us in the time he's been here and I think he could be a big player for us."

Barker has made seven appearances for Sturrock's side already this season.

"I'm very happy. I've enjoyed myself over this last month," he said.

"I've signed for two years at least and hopefully it might be longer. I had a year left at Plymouth but I wasn't really wanted down there so I was happy to come here.

"Hopefully I can play most games and hopefully we can build a back four to move up the league."

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