NEILL Byrne has become the latest player to join Hartlepool United for their upcoming League Two season. 

The 28-year-old defender has moved to Pools from FC Halifax Town while it's understood the club have paid a fee to secure his services. 

The tall Irish defender has played under Dave Challinor with AFC Fylde and will join the club as a trusted member of his squad.

Byrne came through the ranks at Nottingham Forest before signing for Rochdale in 2013 on a permanent basis. Following loan spells with Barrow and Southport, he went on to play for AFC Telford, Macclesfield and Gateshead. 

He becomes Pools second signing of the day following the arrivial of Chesterfield midfielder Martin Smith. 

Manager Dave Challinor said: "Neill is someone I’ve worked with before.

"He was a big part of the success at Fylde. We tried to bring him in last season but due to different circumstances, he went to Halifax.

"He had a great season there and that’s why we have gone back for him and payed a fee. He is certainly what we need heading into this EFL season and the different options he gives us, will be highly important.

"He has great experience and almost feels like he has unfinished business in his career. He will be a great asset for us in the EFL League two.

Byrne was an integral part of FC Halifax Town's campaign missing just two league games as the Yorkshire side just missed out on a National League play-off place.

Pools are lacking in the defensive department following Ryan Johnson's move to Port Vale following the expiration of his contract. Lewis Cass, who was on loan with Pools last season, has also joined Vale for the forthcoming League Two campaign. 

Byrne will provide experience in the centre of defence and may well be given the chance to form a partnership with Gary Liddle and recent addition Reagan Ogle.