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League Two loan move for Ireland U21 international

Lewis Richards makes the temporary switch from Wolves to Harrogate Town.

Lewis Richards comes to Harrogate Town on loan from Wolves.
Lewis Richards comes to Harrogate Town on loan from Wolves.

IRELAND U21 INTERNATIONAL Lewis Richards has secured a loan move to League Two outfit Harrogate Town until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old joins from Wolves; Richards’ new club describing him as a “promising defender” in announcing the temporary switch this evening.

Richards has impressed in the Wolves’ underage ranks over the past few seasons, having made the move from Brentford’s academy at the age of 15.

A left-footed defender who can play at either left-back or in the centre, he has featured regularly for Wolves’ U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy for the past three seasons, while also establishing himself with the U23s.

Richards was promoted to the club’s first team amidst the 2019/20 season, and was then awarded a new contract in July 2020 after featuring in the matchday squad for Europa League ties against Besiktas and Sevilla.

An U19 and U21 Irish international, he was regularly included in Wolves matchday squads throughout the 2020/21 Premier League campaign. 

But now, he’ll hope to make a real breakthrough at senior level.

Harrogate Town assistant manager, Paul Thirlwell, said: “We’ve been watching Lewis for a while and got the opportunity to bring him in and he’s been great. He’s down to earth and really wants to be a defender, which is refreshing in that he wants that to be his main attribute.

“He can play in different positions and in different systems either as a centre half or a full back. He wants to get out there and stop crosses, wants to learn and is generally just a good footballer. He’s still young as well and will improve all the time so we’re really looking forward to having him on board.”

Meanwhile, Wolves’ strategic player marketing manager, Matt Jackson, offered a few words on Harrogate’s new number 33.

“It’s a very good move for Lewis. He’s been in under-23 football for a few years, but now he’s got the chance to take that next step and understand what playing three games a week and maybe six games a month is all about.

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“These are all responsibilities that come with being a senior player, and they are exactly the lessons we want Lewis to learn, but he’s a great individual. He came up to us young and he’s been happy to commit to going somewhere which provides a real challenge, and we’re pleased that he has this opportunity.

“Harrogate have been excellent in having him go up there on a couple of occasions, so he’s already had a good look at them and they’ve had a good look at him, which is what we like to happen with our young players.

“He understands the environment is going to be a positive one for both himself and Harrogate and he’ll join them for the rest of the season, where he will hopefully get good exposure in League Two.”

Harrogate Town are currently 13th in the division.

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