Experienced centre-half and Northern Irish international Rory McArdle becomes our fourth signing of the transfer window.
With over 400 Football League appearances playing for the likes of Rochdale, Bradford City and Scunthorpe, 34-year-old McArdle joins with a wealth of experience under his belt and the move to Town is something he’s been “looking forward to”.
“I’m delighted. Once I was aware there was interest, I was keen to pursue and get the deal over the line,” McArdle said.
“From the outside looking in and seeing how far the club has come over recent years, it’s something that’s going in the right direction. They’re looking to keep building on the success they’ve had, especially last year and that’s something I’m looking forward to and wanting to be a part of.”
The defender started his career at Sheffield Wednesday before signing for Rochdale AFC and making more than 125 appearances in his three year stint with the Dale. McArdle then moved north of the border to Aberdeen for two seasons and then joined Bradford City in 2012.
The Northern Irishman became a key figure for the Bantams and featured heavily in Bradford’s remarkable League Cup run in the 2012/13 season, scoring against Aston Villa in the semi-finals and then starting in the final at Wembley against Swansea City.
McArdle also has promotion winning experience with Bradford City as he scored in the 2013 Football League Two Play-off Final to help the Bantams win 3–0 against Northampton Town and secure promotion to League One.
His importance to the side continued to grow and in the 2014/15 season won Bradford City’s Player of the Season award.
A former teammate of the recently retired Jon Stead while at Bradford City, the defender said that Steady gave a glowing reference of Town.
“He said nothing but good things. Character wise I think I’m quite similar to Steady so for him to have enjoyed it as much as he did, it’s something I’d like to think I’m going to be able to enjoy as well.
McArdle added, “If I can be half as successful as what Steady was when he was here, then it’s something I’d be happy with.
“Coming in as a new lad, I’m looking to learn as well. It’s important to have a bit of experience (in the team) and looking at the squad, we’re going to have a good blend of that.
“If I can help any of the lads in any way then that is something I’m looking forward to but equally, I’ll be forth giving of them giving me any advice or tips.
“It’s a long old season so it’s important everyone helps each other out. Whether that’s in training, on the pitch or something that has nothing to do with football, as long as we’re all heading in the right direction.”
In 2017, McArdle moved onto Scunthorpe United after making 231 appearances for Bradford City. McArdle
went onto captain the Iron before leaving in 2020 and signing for Exeter for the 2020/21 campaign.
On the international scene, McArdle made his full debut for Northern Ireland on 26 May 2010 against Turkey in a friendly.
The defender will wear the number 23 shirt.
Welcome to Town, Rory!