SOLIHULL Moors have announced the permanent signing of defender James Clarke following a successful loan period with the club.
The 21-year-old arrives from Mansfield Town and has signed a two-year contract at the ARMCO Arena until May 2024.
And the right-back has started each of Moors’ 19 games in all competitions since making his debut in a 2-0 win over Grimsby Town, missing just 23 minutes of action.
He initially joined the club on a one-month loan deal in November 2021 before extending his temporary spell until the end of the current season.
Clarke said: “I felt at home as soon as I arrived here so I’m over the moon to make it permanent now.
“It’s a big move for me and my family. I moved away from home to do a scholarship when I was 16 and I’ve been living away from home for a long period of time, so I’m used to that.
“However, in terms of my career, it’s a massive step for me. Becoming a first team player and being known as a first team player is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“If I can just kick on with this club and get us where we deserve to be, which is in the EFL, then that’ll be amazing.
“I back us as a group of lads and a group of players to be able to go and do that – we’re in a great position to push on from now until the end of the season.”
Manager Neal Ardley added: “James has been unbelievable. When Tyrone (Williams) left we wanted to bring in a replacement that mirrored Jordan Cranston and Harry Boyes on the other side – Clarkey has certainly done that.
“He’s got great fitness, a great engine and the way he’s fitted in and combined with Ryan Barnett and the other players down his side of the pitch has been pretty impressive.
“We’re delighted to have him here and look forward to developing him as one of our own now.
“He’s a young talent and if you look around the squad, we’ve got that balance of experience as well as the young ones.
“We’ve got these young players who everyone’s looking at and that’s only good for us and for them.”
Clarke’s transition into the Moors team has been seamless and he has made a significant impact following the departure of Tyrone Williams to Chesterfield.
The full-back has contributed to 11 clean sheets whilst also scoring one goal and providing four assists at the other end of the pitch.