BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett has made his second signing of the summer in the shape of former Scotland Under- 21 skipper Zander Diamond.
The 27-year-old centre-half was released by League One outfit Oldham Athletic — who he also captained — earlier this month after the Latics were unable to afford to offer him a new contract.
Prior to his move to Boundary Park, Diamond spent nine years with Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen, making more than 200 appearances for the Dons, including in the UEFA Cup.
Rowett said: “I am really excited about Zander joining us.
"He is just the sort of defender I have wanted since last season ended.
“He is a big, strong, dominant central defender who has played over 200 times in the SPL, so he has a lot of experience as well."
Rowett is good friends with Oldham boss Paul Dickov, who brought Diamond to the club from north of the border.
However, the details of the defender's deal meant that had he made one more appearance for the Latics, the club would have had to offer him a new contract for the 2012/13 season.
Rowett said: "If it hadn’t been for a contractual situation at Oldham last season he would have had a full season in League One as well and I think we have done
fantastically well to get him here to Burton.” Rowett is also hoping that his new signing will chip in with some goals, having scored 16 times for Aberdeen and twice last season for the Latics.
“At the end of last season I sat down and looked at what we haven’t got and one of those things was goals from our defenders and midfielders,” Rowett said.
“I thought it was important to address that.
“I wanted a big strong centre- half who can contribute goals and we have got one from a league above, and I think we are fortunate that we can attract players like that.”
Diamond played against Albion in the FA Cup last season and said that once he saw the setup at the Pirelli Stadium, he was eager to join.
The 6ft2in defender said: “I was delighted when Gary rung me up and invited to come and have a look round.
“This is a great opportunity for me.
“I came down last week and really liked the place — the stadium, the training facilities and also Gary’s philosophy of what he likes and demands from his players.
“I knew straight away I wanted to come here and I’m just glad we got the contract side of things sorted really quickly.
“Even though it was my first time in England last season when I went to Oldham, (manager) Paul Dickov made me skipper and that shows some of the assets that I have.
“I won’t accept anything other than the best and I always want to win, be it a proper match or a training match.
“I just want to be happy and Gary has made me feel that I can do that here at Burton.”
Rowett also said that Diamond’s experience at skippering both the Latics and Scotland was key to his desire to bring him to Burton.
The Brewers boss said: “If I can bring nine captains into the club then I will.
“I have said before that I want that right sort of character.
“I sat down with Zander and he is keen to get settled into a team once more.
“He is very professional in his outlook and he has got the same sort of ideas as me as to what makes a good team.
“Having seen what we have to offer here he is very excited to be joining us.”
Diamond becomes Rowett’s second signing after the arrival of midfielder Robbie Weir last week.