OFFICIAL: Garner joins Preston on a free
Former Watford striker Joe Garner has joined Preston North End on a free transfer after his Watford contract was cancelled.
The Lilywhites this morning confirmed that Garner had had the remainder of his contract in WD18 cancelled before moving to Deepdale on a free transfer.
Garner, 24, joined Watford from Nottingham Forest on Transfer Deadline Day in August 2011, but never found his feet at Vicarage Road.
Having fallen down the pecking-order under Gianfranco Zola, Garner enjoyed a successful loan spell away from Vicarage Road with Carlisle United, where he bagged seven league goals in 15 starts.
The former Blackburn Rovers, Carlisle United and Nottingham Forest forward joins Graham Westley's side on an 18-month contract with the option for a further year.
A Preston fan as a child, Garner spoke to pnefc.net about the return to Lancashire:
"I`m really happy to be here. As soon as I knew the Club were interested in bringing me in, it was the only place I wanted to come,' admitted Garner.
"I used to have a season ticket here, quite a while back, and I used to come every week. A lot of my family support Preston; my little brother comes to the games and I`m happy to be here.
Meanwhile, his new boss, former Stevenage manager Westley, admitted he had tried to sign the forward previously:
"I looked at Joe in the summer and it wasn`t financially viable in the summer for us to strike a deal with his parent club, so we had to leave it alone then,' Westley told pnefc.net.
In total, Garner made 16 N.Power Championships starts and eight substitute appearances for the Golden Boys in his time with the club, scoring just once - in a memorable victory at Millwall last January.
Though Garner ultimately failed to score the goals he was paid to, he always gave his all for the cause and showed flashed of the player who had cost Forest over a million pound previously.
Good luck Joe, from all at Vital Watford.