Nick Anderton said a conversation with Joey Barton helped cement his decision to leave Carlisle United for Bristol Rovers.

The defender yesterday turned down a new deal with the Blues in order to join the Pirates.

Ex-United captain Anderton, who has signed a two-year deal at the Memorial Stadium, said he had joined a "huge" club with big ambitions.

And the 25-year-old said his talks with manager Barton had made things clear.

Speaking to his new club's official channels, Anderton said: "I'm delighted. It's a big opportunity for me, I'm buzzing just to have it over the line."

Asked what had convinced him to make the move, he said: "After I spoke to the gaffer, I knew his intentions to move the club forward.

"There's a new training ground here.

"At the moment we're in League Two and we want to get out of it. I'm looking forward to getting to work and trying to be successful."

Anderton is the first of six players offered new deals by the Blues to turn the club down.

He used Twitter to thank United and their fans but said it was time for a new challenge.

The ex-Blackpool man added: "It was a pleasure to be captain of the side.

"We had a bit of an up and down season but as skipper...whether you wear the armband or not, part of being leader on and off the pitch is demanding the best out of players and really getting behind the lads."

Anderton will be coached by former Carlisle defender Clint Hill, who is Barton's No2 at the club who have just been relegated from League One.

The left-back added of his new destination: "I've played here a couple of times in the past.

"There's a massive following, it's a huge club, and I'm sure once [the fans] are back in next season it will be buzzing.

"We want to be successful, we want to push to the top end of the league and get back into League One."