Harrogate Town's fourth summer signing is 'strong, powerful player and a good character'

Harrogate Town have continued their squad-building with the addition of long-term target Rod McDonald.

Assistant manager Paul Thirlwell confirmed the 31-year-old centre-back is a player they have been looking at for a few years.

McDonald is the Sulphurites' fourth summer signing but only their second new face, as Matty Daly and Matty Foulds were on loan last season, from Huddersfield Town and Bradford City respectively.

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McDonald joins on a two-year contract from Crewe Alexandra and brings the experience of nearly 200 Football League appearances for Northampton Town, Coventry City, Wimbledon, Carlisle United and the Railwaymen, for whom he was their player of the year last season.

He has twice been promoted from League Two.

The Liverpool-born player came through Manchester City's academy, but having failed to make the breakthrough either there or at Stoke City or Oldham Athletic, he dropped into non-league football with Colwyn Bay, Nantwich Town, Hereford and Telford United before Chris Wilder offered him a trial at Northampton.

Harrogate, who have also signed Liam Gibson, were keen to add experience.

“I think every team needs to have the right blend, everybody wants that youth and exuberance in the squad, but you also need those older heads for when you go to the bigger grounds and the noise is there, that’s when you need your leaders and your organisers on the pitch," said Thirlwell.

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EXPERIENCE: Centre-back Rod McDonald has joined Harrogate TownEXPERIENCE: Centre-back Rod McDonald has joined Harrogate Town
EXPERIENCE: Centre-back Rod McDonald has joined Harrogate Town

“Rod’s another player we’ve liked for a few years, he had an exceptional season last season and we’re really looking forward to having him here with us.

“We’ve been looking to identify strong, powerful players and good characters and Rod certainly comes into that bracket with his performances last season. He’s very dominant, very aggressive and he can play as well, so he’s a player we feel will fit in really well to the squad.”