FORMER Forest Green defender Scott Laird has joined Weston-super-Mare on a three-year deal.

Laird will link up with ex-Forest Green Academy boss Scott Bartlett at Woodspring Park as assistant player/manager.

Laird was released at the end of the season by Forest Green after spending two years at the New Lawn, including a loan spell at League One Walsall.

Laird boasts an extensive playing career in the Football League, serving Stevenage, Walsall and Preston.

A delighted Weston boss Scott Bartlett told the club website: "Scott has had an unbelievable career and is a perfect fit for us.

“With around 400 league games and promotions, his career speaks for itself.

“Early on in his career, he was not afraid to go and prove himself in non league and by doing so earned a move to Stevenage which kick started things for him.

“What he is doing here with us is very similar and we hope to be successful together in management at Weston-super-Mare AFC and take this club forward together.

“First and foremost, Scott is still a fantastic player and finished last season playing in league one at Walsall.

“He is a leader both on and off the pitch and in all honesty, this is a massive coup for the club.

“He has turned down several lucrative offers to stay in the Football league, he has committed to us because we offered something different, a chance to get on the management ladder whilst continuing to play at a club near to his family roots.

“Sometimes in football and life in general things come together at the right time and that is certainly the case here.

“We worked together for two years at Forest Green Rovers and I am delighted to have Scott as my assistant, we will work well together along with Mark Mckeever who has done a great job for the club.”

Laird added: "This is a great opportunity for me, one to work with Scott, who I have got to know well at FGR while I was a player. He allowed me to work with him within the youth team set up which was a good grounding.

“We have a great relationship and football understanding and I can’t wait to start.

“This club has a lot to offer, it’s plan for the future and the potential is the biggest selling point. It’s now down to us to work within sensible budget constraints, to test ourselves in lots of ways and fulfil the potential this club has by working our way up the pyramid taking it one game at a time.

“The supporters, owners, management staff are all aiming for the same thing and with the squad of players we are assembling I’m very excited to get going.

“I could have stayed in the football league and had offers to do so but this is an exciting opportunity.”