THE New Saint's return to Champions League football has been bolstered with the signing of former Liverpool goalkeeper Daniel Atherton.

The former Reds keeper, who had limited first team opportunities at Anfield despite impressing Jurgen Klopp, was a mainstay of the under-18s and U23s at Anfield, including the UEFA Youth League.

He was also selected to be part of the Liverpool touring squad for matches against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, and Sporting Lisbon in America.

However, with competition for places stiff and opportunities limited, the 22-year-old went in search of regular action with a loan switch to Marine – although his time at Rossett Park was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he was looking forward to the challenge at Park Hall.

TNS begin their Champions League qualifying campaign against Northern Irish champions Linfield.

He added: "I’m very happy to get this deal done.

"I can’t wait to get started and do what I can to help this club maintain and improve the standards they have set themselves.

"Let’s make this season the most successful one yet.”

Leaving Anfield in the summer of 2020, Atherton signed for FC Malaga City in America’s USL Championship.

In July 2021, the shot-stopper returned to familiar shores though, signing for Northern Premier League side, Warrington Town.

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He spent the entire 2021/22 season at Cantilever Park, and played a key part in the Yellows’ push for promotion.

He was the hero in the play-off semi-final against South Shields, with his decisive save in the penalty shootout sending Mark Beasley’s team into the promotion final.

Saints boss Anthony Limbrick, who needed to replace the retired Paul Harrison, said Atherton had been a long-term scouted prospect.

“We’ve been watching Dan for some time now and have been really impressed with his performances," he added.

“His key attributes, which include his ability to play out from the back, are one of the major reasons for signing him.

“He’s a good age, with plenty of time to develop so we’re really happy to have him on board to improve our goalkeeping department.”

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