JAKE Buxton has made his first new signing as Burton Albion manager, bringing in 29-year-old Steven Lawless on a one-year deal.
Lawless joins the Brewers after coming to the end of his contract with SPL (Scottish Premier League) side Livingston. The winger made 38 appearances last season, scoring 11 goals.
Born in Glasgow, Lawless is a product of the Motherwell youth team, where he signed his first professional contract in 2010. He had several loan spells at lower league Scottish clubs whilst at Motherwell, but never managed to break through and play regular football during his time at Fir Park.
He signed for Partick Thistle in the Scottish First Division in 2012, where he became a first team regular during his first season. He went on to score 13 goals and help the club gain promotion to the Scottish Premier League, before going on to spend six seasons at the club.
Following Partick’s relegation from the SPL, Lawless joined newly promoted SPL side Livingston, making 75 appearances in all competitions over the last two seasons.
The Scot weighed in with an impressive number of assists in the SPL last season and is now looking to emulate that form during his first spell in England. He said: “I had a good season last season at Livingston and after I spoke to the gaffer (Jake Buxton), I straight away knew I had my heart set on joining Burton Albion.
“I’ve played all my career up in Scotland and after I came with my wife to look at the facilities, I couldn’t turn down this new challenge.
“The manager was very honest and didn’t want to hide anything from me, which was a really big factor in me joining. He seems like a great guy and I am really looking forward to working with him.
Lawless also spoke to Brewers player and former teammate Ryan Edwards prior to the move. He said: “Ryan’s a great guy and I also spoke to him before signing.
“I played with him for two seasons at Partick Thistle and he’s been full of praise for Burton Albion. He really complimented the people and the area, which were other huge factors for me.
Buxton spoke of his delight on securing the move and how former loan player Jamie Murphy also gave a great reference for the signing of Lawless. He said: “Having played with Lawless at Motherwell, we spoke to Murph (Jamie Murphy) and he was very complimentary of Steven as both a player and as a person.
“We also spoke to several other people in the game that described him as one of the most consistent performers outside the top two in Scotland last season. He also comes highly recommended by previous Head of Recruitment Simon Clough.
“We were successful in the Scottish market during the previous regime and we acted instantly to get a deal done when we heard about Steven’s availability.
“We are happy that we’ve been able to attract this calibre of player. He was one of my top summer targets and I’m hoping that we can add three of four more soon!”
What can the fans expect to see from the new recruit?
Buxton said: “He’s technically very good and is comfortable with the ball both out wide and through the middle. He reminds me of when I used to play against Wes Hoolahan for Norwich.
“He’s left-footed and he likes to get shots away on goal and chip in with assists. We’re excited to see him up and running!”
(Image provided by Livingston FC)