BLUE Square Bet South club Eastleigh have announced the signing of Newport County striker Craig McAllister, as revealed by the Argus earlier this week.

A statement on the Eastleigh club website reads: "Fans will be delighted to learn Ian Baird has bolstered his attacking options with the signature of highly regarded Scottish striker Craig McAllister from Conference National side Newport County.

"The imposing 31-year-old joins on a two-year deal which sees the forward become a Spitfire for the third time, having had spells at the Silverlake in 2001 and 2004. He is also well known to EFC Director and lifelong Oxford United season ticket holder Stewart Donald as he had a spell at The Kassam in 2008."

Eastleigh manager Baird said: "He has a very good physical presence and is exceptional in the air. Combine that with his excellent work ethic Craig will add another dimension to our attacking options next season.

"Last season he was plying his trade for Luton who got to the Conference National play-off final, the season before he was an integral part of Crawley's Conference National winning team - he has proven quality and that record is hard to ignore."

Speaking at the Silverlake shortly after signing, McAllister said: "Whilst not for a second do I think this is the end of my career, I always said I wanted to come back to Eastleigh one day. I still own a house in the area and my parents are just up the road in Midanbury.

"It's true Eastleigh tried to sign me last year before I went to Luton and the manager made a good impression and was really keen to get me, which is nice. Listening to him and the owner it is clear they want to push the club on with continued investment so it's an exciting place to be around."

McAllister continued: "In hindsight I probably should have stayed with Crawley but the Newport offer was for two years giving me a bit of financial security and we were settling in the south west with a baby."

"Everyone was great to me at Newport but it just didn't work out and was definitely a low point in my career. What was crazy was twelve months before I was playing at Old Trafford in front of seventy odd thousands, but that's football.

"I am really looking forward to the new season and meeting up with the lads - I know Floody (Chris Flood) from our days at Crawley and know Smithy (Danny Smith) and Andy Forbes from local football growing up in Southampton."