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Kilmarnock have signed former Aberdeen goalkeeper Gary Woods after learning that first-choice Zach Hemming’s injury will keep him out longer than anticipated.

The 31-year-old, who was a free agent after leaving Pittodrie at the end of last season, has been recruited on a one-year contract.

Woods will vie with fellow Englishman Sam Walker, 30, for the gloves in the early part of the season, with on-loan Middlesbrough keeper Hemming facing a lay-off due to a problem with his groin injury which flared up recently.

“Gary is someone I knew from my time at Aberdeen and I know exactly how hard he works, how dedicated he is Monday to Friday,” manager Derek McInnes told the Kilmarnock website. “He wants to come here and challenge himself to get into the team which is what you want, competition for all positions in the team.

“The signing coincides with Zach Hemming’s injury which may keep him out a bit longer than we had hoped, so we needed that competition and level of goalkeeper in to ensure we are covered on all bases.

“We are hopeful Zach will not be out for too long but we got scan results last night and unfortunately he will not be back as quickly as we had hoped.”

Woods, who has previously played for Doncaster, Leyton Orient, Ross County, Hamilton and Oldham, made 10 appearances over the course of the last two seasons as back-up to Joe Lewis at Aberdeen.