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Blackpool’s Billy Clarke joins Crawley Town

31 January 2012 3,719 views No Comment Written by Ronan

Blackpool striker Billy Clarke has joined Crawley Town on a two and a half year deal.

The 24 year old Corkman’s career has been heavily hampered by injuries, with a knee injury keeping him out of Blackpool’s entire 2010-11 season in the Premier League. He went to Sheffield United earlier this season, playing five games and scoring once. Before joining Blackpool in 2009, Clarke had been at Ipswich Town, and spent time on loan at Colchester, Falkirk, Darlington, Northampton, and Brentford.

Clarke played 11 under 21 games for Ireland between 2007 and 2009, and featured at every age level from under 16 up. He has yet to receive a senior call-up, and a move to League Two looks to have curtailed those ambitions yet again.

However, Crawley boss Steve Evans has declared that the signing of Clarke represents the club’s ambition: “Several times last night and this morning I thought we had lost out on signing the lad but I never gave up on him and thankfully I have managed to persuade him to join us. We have signed a really talented player and for us to have beaten off some of the other clubs who made offers to sign him speaks volumes for what we are trying to achieve.

“He was outstanding on loan at Sheffield United recently and we made our move then more in hope than anything else, but we have surprised ourselves and have got him now. It really is a wonderful signing and when I told our players he had joined us they all had the biggest smiles on their faces and commented on what a great addition he was. This signing comes in addition to Sanchez Watt who joined us last Thursday from Arsenal and it really is great news.”

Clarke also spoke of his pleasure at the move, saying that Blackpool boss Ian Holloway had a huge impact on his decision to sign for the promotion candidates. “I am delighted to be a Crawley Town player,” Clarke told his new club’s official website. The manager has been brilliant and he is a huge reason why I have come here. ‘His enthusiasm for Crawley Town and football is fantastic. I had a number of offers from League 1 and one from a Championship club but I always came back to thinking this was the club for me. I also talked to Ian Holloway who had the highest of praise for Steve Evans and Crawley Town. After that my decision was made.

“I have joined a very progressive and ambitious club and that was important to me. My family and I will be moving to West Sussex straight away. I really am so excited and I look forward to playing a part in our fight for promotion.”

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