'The right type' - Barrow boss says ex Leeds United pair represent club's transfer ambitions
Former Leeds United pair Robbie Gotts and Jordan Stevens represent the kind of transfer business Barrow boss Mark Cooper wants to see more of.
The 21-year-old youngsters both made permanent Elland Road exits this week, Gotts after 15 years as a Leeds player, Stevens after three and a half.
Versatile midfielder Gotts joined Leeds at the age of six and worked his way up through the Thorp Arch youth system alongside the likes of Alfie McCalmont and Jamie Shackleton, while Cooper was the Forest Green Rovers boss when Stevens left the Gloucestershire club for the Whites.
Cooper became Barrow manager in May of this year and as the transfer window shut on Tuesday, secured two players who ticked important boxes for him, given the club they were leaving and the experiences they have gained in their respective loan stints in the EFL.
Last season Gotts played in League One with Lincoln City and League Two with Salford City, while Stevens was loaned to League One Swindon Town and League Two Bradford City.
“I think it was important in the current situation that I could add players that were robust and could play games," said Cooper, whose Barrow side sit 18th in the League Two table.
“You know that if you want a fit player, any club that you’re going to get them from – Leeds United’s the one.
“It was important that they were really fit, able to run and at the right age.
“I know Jordan – I sold him to Leeds when I was the Forest Green manager and it looked at one point that he was going to carve a career out there.
“It hasn’t happened for one reason or another. He needs a fresh start and I think I can get the best out of him.
“Robbie Gotts was highly rated at one point at Leeds, and he’s played well at League One, Championship, and in this league last year was very good at Salford."
Cooper is content that his deadline day signings personify part of the recruitment policy Barrow should now have in place.
“They’re two signings that make complete sense, the kind of signings the club should be looking to make in the future,” he said.
“Last year it’s well-documented the club had 35 players – too many. They got too many wrong.
“I was prepared to wait until the right time and we managed to get it done.
“I think they’re the right type. They can both run box to box, they can press, they can go past people with the ball, they can both create.
“They’ll be really exciting signings for us.”
Barrow, who lost out to Accrington Stanley on penalties in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night, travel to Oldham Athletic tomorrow afternoon in league action.
Both Gotts and Stevens are likely to get the new chapter in their respective careers underway in earnest.
"We’ve had the same sort of group of players playing eight games in 23-24 days or so," said Cooper.
“At some point we need to give some a breather. [Gotts and Stevens have] got to come straight into the reckoning.”