NEW Potters signing Phil Bardsley says he is excited to take on a new challenge at the Britannia Stadium.
The defender today agreed a three-year deal with Stoke after deciding to end his six-and-a-half year spell with Sunderland and will officially become a Potter on 1st July 2014.
He becomes Mark Hughes' first signing ahead of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign and Bardsley admits it was a tough decision to end his time at the Stadium of Light but insists he is raring to go in Stoke-on-Trent.
Speaking exclusively to Stoke City Player
he said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be here, it's a fresh challenge for me to join a top Club like Stoke City and I can't wait to get started.
“It's brilliant for me to come and work for such a top manager like Mark Hughes; obviously I've played against Stoke on a number of occasions in my career and I've been very impressed with their style in the last 12 months.
"That's great credit to the manager. He's changed the style of play here, Stoke are still a tough side to beat, but they're an attractive side who want to play the right way and that appealed to me."
The 28-year-old went on to say: "It was tough to leave Sunderland, I had a wonderful six-and-a-half years there.
"I feel the time has come for me to take on a fresh challenge in my career and the opportunity to come to Stoke is brilliant for me and as soon as I heard of their interest it was the only place I wanted to come.