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Bath City sign ex-Bristol Rovers, Sheff Wed, Port Vale, Northampton midfielder

Bath City have been praised as they sign ex-Bristol Rovers, Sheff Wed, Port Vale, Northampton midfielder Chris Lines on Sunday afternoon.

The 36 year old joins the National League South outfit following the expiration of his contract at Stevenage.

The Romans will be his sixth permanent club of his career as he enters an 18th season as a professional.

The club said in a statement: “We are pleased to announce the signing of experienced midfielder, Chris Lines, who joins us after spending the last two seasons with Stevenage Borough in EFL League 2.

“Chris has made over 500 football league appearances and over 600 in total in his career, achieving promotions with Bristol Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Northampton Town.

“As a boy, Chris was a terrace supporter of Rovers at Twerton Park and we welcome him back to the other side of the perimeter wall where we look forward to watching him.”

Youth career
2001–2002 – Bitton
2002–2004 – Bristol Rovers

Senior career
2004–2011 – Bristol Rovers – 168 games (21 goals)
2011–2013 – Sheffield Wednesday – 47 games (3 goals)
2013 → Milton Keynes Dons (loan) – 16 games (0 goals)
2013–2015 – Port Vale – 61 games (3 goals)
2015 → Bristol Rovers (loan) – 8 games (1 goal)
2015–2019 – Bristol Rovers – 138 games (9 goals)
2019–2021 – Northampton Town – 35 games (3 goals)
2021– Stevenage – 51 games (3 goals)

INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS LINES

Interviewer: Chris. Welcome to Bath City. I would have said welcome to Twerton Park. I understand you know this place quite well, don’t you?

CL: Yeah, going back many years, obviously think probably my first ever watching in my first ever football match was here, still on the terraces, so I’ve been back a few times as a player, mainly just preseason games, but, yeah, it brings back good memories. Obviously, coming to, like, my first ever games with my dad when I was a kid, watching Rovers. It’s obviously quite difficult to remember the specifics,but I think I sort of spotted whereI used to stand out there. So, yeah, it’s got a bit of history for me and obviously some good memories from back then and probably the place where I like to say I started watching football and just falling in love with it when you’re a kid. So, yes, it’s nice to be back. Yeah.

Interviewer: So does that mean you have a bit of a soft spot? Obviously you’re watching Bristol Rovers here. The soft spot for Bath City, too.

CL: Yeah, I think that’s sort of a little factor in my decision, speaking to my family and stuff like that. Obviously they said that it brings back good memories and that’s obviously such a good kind of a close link with Bristol Rovers and I’m sure a lot of Rovers fans, when they’re not watching Rovers, they come over and watch Bath and vice versa. So, yes, that kind of did make a little impact on my decision. Just that link of between the two clubs and obviously spending a lot of time here when I was a young lad, and especially coming to watching my dad.

Interviewer: You had an extensive EFL career, I think, 542 appearances. You have a very brief time in non league as well. Bristol Rovers is doing a promotion campaign. You feel time is right to commit to non league for this season?

CL: Yeah, like you say, I’ve played a lot of games and it’s been a roller coaster journey. I’ve done quite well.I’ve only had four or five different clubs and about three or four of them meant, obviously, traveling away and being away from Bristol. I was lucky to be in Bristol for so long, to be fair, and obviously playing for the club I grew up and supported. So, yeah, I think last season, obviously, it’s traveling and being away from home gets to a point where I was always going to end up back in the Bristol area somewhere and yeah, I think come the end of last season, it started becoming more and more apparent and that was what I wanted to do. I  said to myself, I could still play League One, League Two, but it’s the kind of everyday life of doing that and being away. It kind of takes over your whole life and I think you get to a point where you do just want to have a couple of days, a week doing it and start enjoying other things as well. I didn’t really start playing until 19, 20 and I’ve banged over 600 games in since then. I think I still played 35 odd games last year and that would have been more, apart from an injury kind of towards the start. So, yeah, I’m still fit and still ready to play 40 games a season easily and I think when players get to my age, that’s quite rare and a lot of people nowadays look at that. Managers and coaches and fans, I guess it’s about how you look after yourself and make sure you’re kind of doing the right stuff off the pitch and looking after your body and basically my goal is to be available for every game and that’s what it’s been my whole career.

Interviewer: What do you look to bring to this battle team this season?

CL: My experience is always big.I think every interview I’ve done for a club for the past five years, they said, you’re going to bring some experience, just that experience. My main kind of way I’ve always played football is to have a winning mentality, so that’s massive for me. There’s no point going out there on a Saturday if you don’t think you’re going to win, so I think that’s something I can add, and add a voice in the dressing room, wherever people want to listen, that’s up to them, but I think what I’ll have to say is worth listening to and just helping. I looked at the lead table from last year and obviously there is room for improvement, so for me, that’s something I’m aiming to do and rather than sort of being in the top, rather than being at the bottom half of the table, we obviously want to be at the top and I’ve been lucky to win quite a lot in my career, so I think I’d definitely bring a winning mentality to a team and hopefully I can do that here

Interviewer: Just finally, you said right when you were youngster, watching games here at Twerton Park, anything stand out?

CL: Yeah, the main memory I had was obviously still beyond the goal. I think we played Liverpool, maybe, and that was one that always stuck out. I can’t remember the score, you have to look at that afterwards. Yes, it might have been a drawer, because I can remember going to Anfield at some point to potentially watch a replay. That was obviously a good, I think, just enjoying watching football and that was sort of obviously living in Bristol, traveling to Bath was a bit strange to watch Rovers, but it was my experience of getting into football. I guess I probably started watching football before I necessarily started playing it. So I was probably watching games at five, six, and that probably got me into playing football. And obviously the support from parents who are football mad, that helped. And just obviously watching those games and then being able to actually go and do that career, obviously, is what what a lot of kids dream of, really. So I’m grateful for that. And I’m not finished yet. I know we’ve got a lot of supporters who are looking forward to watching you as well. Yeah, I look forward to it.

There was plenty of talk as Bath City sign the ex-Bristol Rovers, Sheff Wed, Port Vale, Northampton midfielder…

@d0ns_: Jeeeez some signing 😅 nice one @Linesy8

@pikey_dave: What a signing that is 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 congrats @Linesy8 💙

@DomJohn881: No messing around this summer. Adding some real value to the squad. 👍

@from_oop_norf: What a cracking signing. Well done. Squad shaping up nicely.

@amorgan34: Announce promotion 🏆⚽.. #UTG

@Rob4481587: Good move for him.

@cbakes94: Wow, some player for that level

@MartinD1883: He’ll destroy that league. Good luck @Linesy8 🙌🏻

@robertbrace94: What a signing for that level

@dailybrfc: Best of luck @Linesy8 🐐

@BRFCSamuel: Unreal 😍

@Jackobrfc999: Good luck @Linesy8! May definitely have to pop down a few times this season 👌

@Baldockboro: A cultured, experienced player with a footballing brain and a good range of passing. Has the odd mare but if he can stay fit and someone younger/quicker alongside covering for his lack of pace he’ll be a real asset. Will keep an eye on how he does for you.

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