Salford City have confirmed the signing of seasoned defender Tom Clarke on a free transfer.
Tom Clarke Signs for Salford City
Welcome former Preston North End captain, Tom Clarke!#WeAreSalford 🦁🔴 pic.twitter.com/KT7ssIi8o5
— Salford City FC (@SalfordCityFC) July 14, 2020
The 32-year old has spent the last seven years of his career plying his trade for Preston North End in the Championship. After making the move to Deepdale back in 2013, he became a key member of the side that clinched promotion to the second tier of English football via the play-offs. In fact, he played the full 90 minutes as his side cruised to a 4-0 victory over Swindon Town at Wembley.
Before North End, Clarke also featured heavily for Huddersfield Town. He joined the club professionally at 16 and spent a total of eight years with the Terriers. They too achieved promotion to the Championship during his time with the squad, as he featured 14 times in defence for them during that campaign.
Experienced at League One level
Clarke, who can play as either a centre-back or right-back, has over 11 years worth of experience at League One level and five extra years worth of Championship experience to boot. This could be vital to Salford as they bid to try and battle at the top end of the League Two table next season.
This season though, the 32-year old has struggled for game time with the Lilywhites. He has been restricted to just ten appearances, having found himself sitting on the bench more often than not since Preston’s signing of Patrick Bauer last summer. He’s fallen lower down the pecking order at Deepdale and, with his contract set to expire, North End decided not to extend his current deal and to let go of the defender.
Clarke, though, has now committed his future to Salford City, putting pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with the League Two side.
Clarke ‘Over the Moon’ to join Salford
Speaking to the club’s official website, Clarke said: “I’m over the moon, glad today’s come. I spoke to the manager a couple of weeks ago and was really pleased with what he said, how the club want to progress and I couldn’t wait to get involved.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Preston, seven years is a long time and to achieve what we did there was brilliant.
“I want to come here, start afresh, and try to build on something, the success you’ve already had, and hopefully I can do that.
“I’m just someone that gives 100% every game, I go out there and want to win, put my body on the line for the team, work hard.
“They’re probably my main attributes, to get out there and work as hard as I can to get that win and get up that league.
“It’s been a really strange period, a lot of time off over this time, so it’s about ticking over and keeping as fit as possible, and waiting for that phone call of when we are back in training and kick on, meet the lads, go from there. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Manager Graham Alexander was also extremely happy to get the deal over the line. He said: “Obviously delighted to get someone of Tom’s stature to join the club, he’s someone who I’ve admired for a long time after initially trying to sign him when I was at Fleetwood.
“Since then he’s been a fantastic servant to Preston North End, also being their club captain.
“Myself and Chris can’t wait to get to work with him and witness his impact on the squad at Salford.”