GOALKEEPER Dillon Barnes has become Mark Warburton’s ninth signing of the summer transfer window, joining the R’s after leaving Colchester United.
The highly-rated 23-year-old started his career at Barnet and he was just a teenager when he featured on the bench for the Bees throughout 2012/13 and 2013/14.
Barnes joined west London neighbours Fulham in 2014 and, while with the Cottagers, he enjoyed loan stints at Farnborough and Bedford Town.
Barnes’ next move came to Colchester in 2015, where he signed following a successful trial.
The Enfield-born stopper made his first-team debut for Colchester in a League Cup clash against Brighton & Hove Albion in August 2016. In his next senior appearance, he was the hero as Colchester beat Charlton Athletic 4-3 on penalties in the EFL Trophy.
With Barnes eager to experience more first-team football, he went out on loan to non-league sides Welling United, making 14 appearances for The Wings, and then Hemel Hempstead, making three appearances, in the 2017/18 season; an experience he described as a ‘wake-up call’.
Upon returning to the Colchester ranks, Barnes made his first two EFL appearances at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, before being handed the number-one shirt, following the departure of Sam Walker to Reading last summer.
Barnes quickly settled into his new role and established himself in the U’s team, keeping eight clean sheets in 22 league appearances as the Essex side missed out on the League Two play-offs by just a solitary point.
He will now look to challenge for first-team football in W12 this coming season.