NEW signing Stephen Dawson has set his eye on becoming a more complete midfielder after joining the Shakers.

The 22-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal yesterday to become Alan Knill’s first outfield signing of the summer.

He earned a reputation as a fearsome competitor in his three years at Mansfield, though ultimately his efforts were not enough to prevent the Stags being relegated last season.

And though that disappointment still hangs heavy around the young Irishman’s shoulders, Dawson is convinced he can be a hit at Gigg Lane this year.

“I need to score more goals,” said the former Leicester City trainee, who quit the Walkers Stadium to go in search of first team football at Mansfield in 2005.

“I started off being a defensive midfielder, but I want to score a few goals and help the team win more football matches. That’s what I am here to do.

“I like to think that I give 100 per cent in every game I play. Now I’m hoping I can improve as a player. I am sure that the manager can help me do that.”

Dawson resisted the chance to play in League One with neighbours Stockport County in order to sign at Bury in a deal which has been whispered about for much of the summer.

Again, the signing shows evidence of Knill’s impressive powers of persuasion, but Dawson was also impressed by the way the Shakers finished their last campaign on a high.

“You can see the ambition in the man, he wants to do well and with this squad of players that did go on a good run towards the end of the season,” said Dawson.

“You can sense that hopefully we are going to have a good year.”

Contract negotiations did, however, hit some glitches along the way – not least at the Mansfield end as the Stags fought valiantly to keep hold of their man.

“We have been talking all summer and we have had a few problems here and there,” said Dawson, who now plans to move to Manchester from his current base in the Midlands. “I was back in Ireland and spending some time with my family, but the gaffer has been on the phone all the time. His phone bill must be really high at the moment.”