Cheltenham Town manager Mickey Duff has confirmed the offering of a one-year contract to free agent Matty Blair. The winger’s contract offer follows a successful trial period with the League Two club.
Matty Blair Set to Join Cheltenham Town
Contract Offer to Midfielder is Unexpected
Duff admits that when Blair joined Cheltenham on trial last month, there was little prospect of a contract offer.
Many football clubs are feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a pandemic that is causing financial, as well as health, concerns. At the time of his arrival, Cheltenham were not in a financial position to offer Blair a contract.
However, this has since changed.
Last week, Cheltenham sold Ryan Broom to Peterborough for a six-figure sum. Some of the money from this deal has enabled Duff to offer Blair a contract.
Duff confirmed this to the Gloucestershire Live website.
“Blairy (Matt Blair) came in to train and we had an honest conversation with him because there was no contract to be offered,” Duff said.
“But he lives locally and we knew there was interest in Broomy (Ryan Broom).
“Now Broomy has gone, he (Blair) has been offered a contract because he offers good experience and he’s been promoted out of the division two or three times.”
Indeed, Blair has been promoted three times, although only twice from League Two.
His first League Two promotion came in 2014 when he was on the books of Fleetwood Town. Blair started Fleetwood’s League Two Play-off Final against Burton Albion. Town won the final 1-0 to seal their first EFL promotion.
Before joining Fleetwood, he played for York City. It was here that Blair won his first promotion, when York regained their EFL status from the then called Blue Square Premier (now the National League).
Blair was a member of York’s 2011/12 play-off promotion-winning team. He helped York defeat Luton Town by a 2-1 scoreline. However, he will be forever remembered by York City’s fans as the man who scored their winning goal.
Spell With Doncaster Rovers
Following loan spells at Northampton Town and Cambridge United, Blair permanently left Fleetwood in January 2015. He joined Mansfield Town, where he stayed for 18-months.
After leaving Mansfield, he joined Doncaster Rovers. At the time, they were playing in League Two. By the end of his first season at the South Yorkshire club, he had helped yet another team win promotion.
Over the four years that he played at Doncaster, he amassed over 150 appearances. He was extremely popular with supporters.
Blair’s contract with Doncaster expired at the end of last season. Doncaster were keen to keep him, despite him suffering an injury-hit season. However, due to financial restrictions, Doncaster could only offer Blair a new contract on reduced terms.
In July, Rovers’ manager Darren Moore explained the situation to the Doncaster Free Press.
“At the moment Matty has not signed but he’s considered it.
“We’re hopeful that it can go for us. But I understand in Matty’s case, he’s probably looking for a longer term contract.”
Doncaster had offered a one-year contract with an option of another 12-months.
Sadly, for Blair he is currently injured. He suffered a minor hamstring injury during a pre-season friendly against Bristol City.
Cheltenham begin their 2020/21 season tomorrow at Peterborough United in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
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