GOALKEEPER Trevor Carson became Richie Barker’s first summer signing – and a potential standard bearer for what is to come at Gigg Lane this summer.

The Northern Irishman, pictured, who featured 17 times for the Shakers in two loan spells last term, agreed a two-year contract with the club after being released by Premier League Sunderland.

It was a deal that had been in the pipeline for some time – and Barker hopes the 24-year-old keeper will be the first of “four or five” new names through the doors in the next couple of months. More importantly, the Shakers boss hopes his arrival is evidence to all and sundry that the club are setting their sights higher after consolidating their place in League One.

“I think it shows we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.

“I hope players like Trevor look at where we finished last season, when no-one really gave us a chance, and see us as someone who finished 14th in League One – outside the top half on goal difference. It gives us that opportunity to move ourselves on to that next level and attract a different type of player than we did last summer.”

Carson is now looking to get into the thoughts of Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill, having previously been an unused substitute for his country against Albania two years ago.

The Shakers have not had a full international for a decade, since India superstar Biachung Bhutia left Gigg in 2002. “I think international football might have been on Trevor’s mind when he agreed to come here,” Barker added.

“If you’re third or fourth choice at a Premier League club it is difficult to stake a claim.

“Regular games could give him that opportunity to get back on the radar.

“The negative is that we’d miss him for a couple of games, but it has been a while since Bury had a full international so you would hope that happens for him.

“It would be good for the club.”