Harrogate Town sign former England Under-21 defender Joe Mattock following release from Rotherham United

Harrogate Town have landed former England Under-21 defender Joe Mattock following his release by Championship Rotherham United.

By Rhys Howell
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 5:55 pm
New Harrogate Town recruit Joe Mattock, left, with Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Harrogate Town AFC
New Harrogate Town recruit Joe Mattock, left, with Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver. Picture: Harrogate Town AFC

The 32-year-old, who can operate as a left-back or a left-sided centre-half, becomes Simon Weaver's fourth new signing of the summer and has promised to bring some aggression to the Sulphurites' defence.

“My style of play has changed over the years," Mattock said.

"When I was younger I was more of an attacking full-back, crossing balls into the box and linking up play. In one-versus-one defending I can be quite aggressive.

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"In the last few years I’ve slotted in as a left-sided centre-half and been more of a defensive full-back. I still like to be aggressive, challenge for the ball in the air and the main target is clean-sheets and stopping the opposition from scoring goals.

"I’m massively looking forward to it and joining up with the lads. I’ve had a good break but now it’s time to get back to work. I’m looking forward to getting onto the training field and seeing what’s to come.

“I played Harrogate last pre-season and they ran us off the park a little bit. It was a tough game, they played some good football and have got some quality players, a few of whom I know. I’m looking forward to joining up with them and seeing what I can add to the group.”

Mattock arrives at the EnviroVent Stadium with a wealth of Football League experience under his belt, having featured for Leicester, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United, Portsmouth, Brighton & Hove Albion, Sheffield Wednesday and, most recently, Rotherham.

The defender was part of West Brom’s 2009/10 promotion-winning side and has earned promotion to the Championship twice with Rotherham as well as winning the Papa John’s Trophy last season.

He has represented England at u17, u19 and u21 level, and is closing in on 500 career appearances having played 20 games in League One last term.

“Joe is a strong left-sided player, with a wealth of experience who joins us on the back of two promotions out of League One to the Championship in the last three years," boss Weaver said.

“He’s versatile, mobile, got so much quality about him on the pitch and he’ll be just as important for us off it so, he’s going to help the players already at the club and adds another good leader to the group.

“You can tell by meeting him and from everyone’s feedback just how hungry a player he is, hungry to train well and win in games, he’s an absolute winner and we’re delighted to have him at the club.”

Mattock will wear the number three shirt at Wetherby Road.