Blackburn Rovers prospect Tom Bloxham joins Harrogate Town on loan as James Daly leaves for Aldershot Town
The versatile 18-year-old attacker’s arrival on transfer deadline day paved the way for Sulphurites left-winger James Daly to make the temporary move to National League Aldershot in a bid to get some regular game-time.
A product of theTottenham Hotspur youth system, Bloxham has represented the Republic of Ireland at under-19 level and made two senior appearances for Rovers.
One of those came in the Championship against Plymouth Argyle, while he also featured in August’s 8-0 League Cup mauling of Harrogate, during which the Rovers youngster first caught Town boss Simon Weaver’s eye.
“Tom played in that cup game that we don't like to talk about,” the Sulphurites chief joked.
“He came off the substitutes’ bench and scored and looked like a real talent. Lloyd Kerry [head of recruitment] went and watched him and reported back that there was a proper player there.
"Blackburn rate him really highly because he’s dynamic and wants to get at people. He wants to get shots off and make things happen and he’s a great finisher.
"He’s very much our type of footballer.”
On where he plans to utilise Bloxham, Weaver added: “He likes to play down the middle as a number 10 or can operate off either side.
"He’s a typical modern-day forward in terms of his versatility. He’s really adaptable. He is right-footed, so attacks the line on the right and cuts in off the left.
“There’s a real fluidity about his game.”
Daly, 24, heads to Aldershot on loan for the rest of 2023/24 having made 17 appearances for Town since joining the club from Woking in the summer.
“Sometimes, as a manager, you can be selfish in a situation like this,” Weaver explained. “I rate JD and I feel like there is a lot more to come from him.
“I know that he is a lad who runs through brick walls, his running stats are frightening, so really we wanted to keep him around, but for him personally the best thing was for him to be able to go and play games.
"That will benefit him now, for certain, but in the long-term, it will definitely benefit us as well.
"He probably didn’t get the bounce from that goal against Doncaster a few weeks ago because we have hardly played since, so I asked him what his thoughts were in the hotel down in Sutton earlier this week.
"We have a really good relationship and had a good conversation and I that what we agreed will be best for both parties.”
Transfer deadline day saw Town complete just their second signing of the January window following goalkeeper James Belshaw’s arrival from Bristol Rovers for an undisclosed fee at the start of the month.