JOE SKARZ has broken a 12-year association with Huddersfield Town to join Bury on a two-year contract.
The 20-year-old out-of-favour left-back was signed by the Galpharm club as an eight-year-old, and made his way through the ranks for a first-team debut at 17 in the 1-1 League I home draw with Scunthorpe in November 2006.
Skarz, named League I apprentice of the year at the 2007 Football League awards, made 80 further Town appearances as well as having loan spells at Hartlepool in 2008-09 and Bury’s League II rivals Shrewsbury last season.
He was one of three left-backs used by Lee Clark last season, making 20 appearances, the last in the 2-0 FA Cup third-round home defeat by West Brom.
Under contract until next summer – he was handed a new three-year deal by Stan Ternent in 2008 – Skarz was last month told he was among eight players being made available for transfer.
Goalkeeper Simon Eastwood has joined Oxford while defender Andy Butler and striker Tom Denton have agreed contract settlements.
Michael Collins and James Berrett are being linked with Scunthorpe and Tranmere respectively while fellow midfielder Jim Goodwin and winger Lionel Ainsworth remain at the Galpharm.
While Bury say Skarz has joined on a free transfer, Town have refused to divulge details of the deal, except to say there are substantial add-ons.
Skarz is also a useful cricketer, and made 198 for Woodfield Park B in Saturday’s Central League clash with Gawthorpe St Mary’s.