BARNSLEY have signed goalkeeper Ben Killip, who is now expected to provide competition for his former youth team-mate Brad Collins.

The 27-year-old was a free agent after rejecting a new contract at Hartlepool United following their relegation from League Two. He has signed a one-year contract with the Reds having an option to add another year.

Killip was in the Chelsea academy, at the same time as Collins.

He told the Chronicle: “I was with Brad for many years at Chelsea.

“He was the age group below me.

“We did our scholarship together and we were always good mates.

“It’s nice to see a familiar face.

“It’s back to when we were scholars fighting for a shirt again.

“We have a good goalkeeping unit and coach here who support each other.”

How did the move to Barnsley come about? Killip said: “Tom Fawdry, the head of goalkeeping, called me up and told me about the interest from the club and from himself.

“From then on I was delighted and absolutely buzzing that they had shown some interest.

“I have been in since Monday and loved every second of it.

“I had two or three other offers but, once I knew of Barnsley’s interest, it was a no-brainer.

“It’s a club of huge stature and potential. I want to be part of the ambition to get promoted to the Championship.”

After leaving Chelsea, Killip spent two years at Norwich City then, after a season each at Grimsby and Braintree, moved to Hartlepool in 2019.

He helped them gain promotion from the National League in 2021 then played for them for two seasons in League Two, but was on the bench for almost all of the second half of last season which saw them finish second-bottom.

He returned for the final game of the season, saving a penalty against Stockport County.