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Auckland City FC have signed former Everton professional John Irving from Northern League First Division club Ngaruawahia United today.
Navy Blues chairman Ivan Vuksich confirmed Irving's signing on the same day the club confirmed the acquisition of ace marksman Roy Krishna from cross-town rivals Waitakere United.
"We are delighted that John has decided to play his football at Auckland City this summer," Vuksich said.
"He is a top class defender who will add further depth and quality to our squad. We look forward to welcoming John to Kiwitea Street as we look forward to what promises to be another exciting season of football."
Irving becomes the second Auckland City FC player with Ngaruawahia United connections in recent times with former midfielder Matt Williams turning out alongside the English import.
The 23-year-old has contributed strongly as Ngaruawahia United chase promotion to the Northern Premier League.
Irving turned down fellow ASB Premiership outfits WaiBop United, Hawke's Bay United, Canterbury United and Team Wellington.
Liverpool-born Irving is a speedy defender who is comfortable at either centre back or full back.
He was a model of consistency for Everton's reserve side and was named their reserve player of the year for 2006/2007 after being given the captain's armband in February 2007.
Irving's ability and reliability has been acknowledged at international level, with appearances for the England under-16 side.
A second-string regular for Everton Irving also won the reserve player of the season award for the second season in a row and further rewarded with a one-year contract in the summer of 2008.
After another season of reserve team football, Irving was released in June 2009 without having played a first team game.
His last professional club was Bala Town, who play in the Welsh professional leagues.