HEREFORD FC have announced the signing of former Portsmouth central defender Paul Downing.

The six-foot tall defender was loaned to Hereford from parent side West Bromwich Albion at the start of his career in 2010.

The 31-year-old has played for the likes of Walsall, Milton Keynes Dons, Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth.

“We are delighted to get someone of Paul’s experience in at a time we feel it is needed,” Hereford manager Paul Caddis told the club’s website.

“He will be well known to our supporters having featured for Hereford United on loan in 2010.

“Paul has been training with League 2 and National League clubs during the past few months and feels the time is now right to find a place to play his football.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Paul and he will bring a great deal of experience to us, both on and off the pitch.”

This comes after the Bulls released midfielders Dylan Barkers and Stanley Obinna after their 4-0 defeat at Tamworth on Monday.

A statement on the club’s website said: “The decision to release Barkers and Obinna was made with careful consideration. We extend our gratitude to the both of them for their hard work and commitment. We wish them all the best for the future, both on and off the field.”