Bristol Rovers sign former Preston North End midfielder Seanan Clucas
MARK McGhee yesterday completed his second signing in as many days by bringing young midfielder Seanan Clucas to Bristol Rovers.
Clucas, 19, who was released by Preston North End earlier this summer, yesterday agreed a one-year contract to become McGhee’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of Oliver Norburn on Wednesday.
McGhee described Clucas, who has played six times for the Northern Ireland Under-21 side, as a “tough-tackling ball winner” and added: “He's a different type of player to any of our other midfielders.
“He’s slightly built, but that’s quite deceptive because he's a tenacious tackler, a great ball winner, and he breaks things down.
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“We think he can do really well for us and I think we are fortunate to have signed him and Ollie Norburn and that we will benefit from, if you like, their respective clubs’ decisions to release them.
“I think they are good young players who will go on and do really well and become an important part of our squad.
“I think we have probably recruited our quota of the type of young player that Seanan and Ollie Norburn are, so now we will be looking to recruit more experienced players who have been there and done it.
“What I'm determined to do is make sure we recruit the right quality of player that can make us as good as we were at the end of last season.
“If we were able to go into the season with that squad, I think we would be fine.”
Clucas skippered the Preston youth side after arriving from IFA Premier League side Dungannon Swifts in in 2009.
He went on to make four senior appearances and a further two during a loan spell at Burton Albion towards the tail-end of last season.
He said: “I enjoyed my time at Preston, where I captained the youth team, and I have come here looking to make a fresh start.
“There were a few other clubs interested in signing me, but my agent told me about the interest from Rovers and I'm delighted to have been offered a one-year deal by the club.”
Clucas joined his team-mates as they returned for pre-season yesterday, and manager McGhee said: “I’m delighted with the way the boys came back.
“They are all looking slim and fit – gone are the days when I was a player and everyone would come back a stone overweight!
“This squad is fantastic and while there is a lot of work to do to get up to match speed, they looked fine.”
Training took place at Rovers’ new base at the Friends Life Sports Ground in Cribbs Causeway for the first time, and McGhee added: “I think the facility brings a degree of self-esteem to everyone and going out there was fantastic.
“The surfaces are brilliant, and the whole surroundings make you feel that you are in a working environment for a football club. There are no distractions, there's no one else there and it is exclusive to us when we are training there. It is a fantastic facility.”