Cambridge United have today secured the signing of former Republic of Ireland and Millwall goalkeeper David Forde on an initial one-year deal.
Following the departure of Will Norris to Wolves last week, the U's have moved quickly in adding Forde to the squad alongside Dimitar Mitov, acquiring one of the most experienced shot stoppers in the English Football League.
West Ham United, Cardiff City and AFC Bournemouth are among the 37-year old's former clubs, however it was at the New Den and Millwall where Forde has spent the large majority of his career, featuring 339 times. He helped the Londoners win promotion to the Championship via the play-offs in 2010 and was named the club's Player of the Year in 2013/14, during a nine year spell.
Last season, Forde kept a staggering 19 clean sheets in 46 games, helping to guide Portsmouth to the Sky Bet League Two Title.
Meanwhile, he has also featured on the international stage, pulling on the number one jersey for the Republic of Ireland on 24 occasions, as well as being named in their Euro 2012 squad in Poland.
Pleased to now be joining United for the forthcoming campaign, Forde said: "I'm delighted to be here and really looking forward to starting my first session with the first team this week.
"When I spoke to the Head Coach, he was very ambitious and that was backed up when I spoke with Ben (Strang, Head of Football Operations) and Jez (George, CEO). Everyone has been very positive about progress at the Club, what we hope to bring this season and going into the future.
"The Club obviously just missed out on the play-offs last year, and I have my own ambitions to get another promotion again, so that was a big part in making my decision.
"The squad have already had a large portion of pre-season together, so it's important for me to now get some game time under my belt, and start to integrate into the Club.
"I want to be able to hit the ground running and use my experience to get into the swings of things quickly."
Meanwhile, Head Coach Shaun Derry commented: "Once Will departed for Wolves, we decided that we would aim to bring in an experienced goalkeeper. There was one stand-out candidate.
"David arrives with a glowing C.V. that very recently has a League Two winner's medal attached to it. He showed last season that not only is he a prime goalkeeper but a terrific leader too.
"He brings not only stability to the position but numerous other credentials also, that will really benefit our Club.
"To have both him and Dimi (Mitov) as our goalkeepers this year is fantastic for our group of players."
Forde began his career in Ireland, progressing through the ranks at Galway United and later featured for Barry Town and West Ham before returning to his first club.
Derry was Forde's next stop where he won three cup competitions with the Candystripes, until he switched to the Championship with Cardiff and eventually moving on to Millwall.
Cambridge United Head of Football Operations Ben Strang concluded: ""David is an important addition to the group, adding experience to the position and strength to the spine of the team. He constantly demands high standards and brings huge presence in to the group.
"Dimi has impressed us all since coming in this summer and will push David for the jersey. He is an exciting goalkeeper for the future and having David working with him daily will assist us in developing him further."
"David was hugely impressive throughout last season with Portsmouth and possesses a real winning mentality. We're convinced that in many ways, he'll be a key component of the squad."
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