Adam Clayton on leaving Doncaster Rovers for 'bigger club' Bradford City with no hard feelings

Adam Clayton says he left Doncaster Rovers on good terms and thinks joining their League Two promotion rivals Bradford City has worked out rather well for him.

Clayton was told after Doncaster's 3-0 Boxing Day defeat at Tranmere Rovers he could find a new club after failing to win over coach Danny Schofield. Although it would be his final appearance he was not made to train with the youngsters, as when he was released by Birmingham City at the end of 2021.

Seeing that the 34-year-old former Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough midfielder was on the market, Mark Hughes signed him on a free transfer, his sixth January addition.

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Clayton was made Doncaster captain by then-manager Gary McSheffrey at the start of the season and played every minute of it until the run ended after new coach Schofield's first match. After four games on the bench and one suspended, he made three December starts.

"I was having a really good season, I was enjoying it," said Clayton, who lives in Harrogate. "It was very much out of the blue on my side of things.

"We got beaten by Tranmere and a couple of days later the manager said you can look for other options.

"I played every game (for McSheffrey) and felt really part of the team, I was captain and really enjoying it.

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"But if someone wants to do their thing he's the manager, it's up to them. I want to be somewhere I'm appreciated and can play.

TRANSFER: Adam Clayton has swapped Doncaster Rovers for Bradford CityTRANSFER: Adam Clayton has swapped Doncaster Rovers for Bradford City
TRANSFER: Adam Clayton has swapped Doncaster Rovers for Bradford City

"I've been training with the (Rovers) team (since). It wasn't, 'We want you to get out now.'

"I think the club wanted my wages to bring in other people and that's fair enough. We shook hands and I think I've managed to come out on the better side of it.

"I loved a lot of people at Donny. I had good friends, people like the canteen girls, and really enjoyed it.

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"I'm 20 minutes away at a bigger club – that's not me trying to put anyone down. It's a great club, great location, great manager, good coach (Glynn Hodges), good players."

Clayton started at Manchester City when Hughes was manager and Hodges reserve-team coach.

Bradford already have an experienced midfielder in captain Richie Smallwood but Clayton, earmarked to play at the base of a diamond, has no concerns.

"Hopefully me and Richie can play together, I don't see any reason why we can't," he said. "We were together at Middlesbrough for a long time when he was a young lad.

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"He's a really good player, club captain, and I've got a lot of respect for Richie. It's up to the manager who he picks but hopefully we're in there together."

Meanwhile, Hughes has told rivals to forget about trying to sign top-scorer Andy Cook despite him being benched for four matches.

“People may question what I do in the transfer market but even I wouldn’t transfer-list my top scorer,” joked Hughes.

“If you see (a player's) form just waning, let them have a fresh look at it from the outside.

"There may be a couple (more) players (transferred) out and maybe something will raise itself and we think, 'Maybe that makes sense.'

"But for the most part I'm happy with how the squad’s shaping."