It’s another tough task for the Shaymen this Tuesday as they face newly-promoted league leaders, Salford City. The table toppers, part-owned by the Manchester United Class of ’92, are a club on the up and a team attracting plenty of attention, from fans and players alike.
One of these players they have been able to attract is the recently-acquired midfield maestro, Richie Wellens.
Wellens played professionally since back in 1999, and now 36, is making headlines with his latest move. A player who has been there and done it all, the midfielder from Moston represents another with United history who has pulled on the Salford jersey.
A versatile midfielder who can play both deep-lying and at the spearhead of a midfield line, Wellens began his career on the books of United, making one first-team appearance in a League Cup clash with Aston Villa before moving on to Blackpool in 2000.
Wellens established himself as a mainstay in the Seasiders’ midfield for five years, notably making the 2004 PFA Second Division Team of the Year, and winning promotion in his first full season with the club. After a remarkable 226 appearances, Wellens moved on to Oldham Athletic.
Two more features in the PFA Team of the Year in the space of three seasons attracted interest during his time with local side Oldham, and after another spell surpassing 100 turnouts, Wellens signed for Doncaster Rovers in 2007, again making the Team of the Year in his debut campaign.
Wellens spent two years in South Yorkshire, forcing himself into the regular starting XI and rising his stock further. It was in 2009 when Leicester City picked him up for a seven-figure sum. Leicester was arguably his most notable club due to their recent success and the part Wellens played in the early parts of their famous rise.
Playing at the heart of the midfield, Wellens was a key part of the Leicester side that won promotion to the Championship, turning out in 149 games for the Foxes, in addition to a loan spell with Ipswich Town in 2012.
A return to Doncaster followed, and Wellens settled in again very well before a loan spell back to his closest team Oldham. Entering his mid-30s, the midfielder signed a deal with Shrewsbury Town which expired last season. It was from here that Wellens took the step into non-league, making interesting news with his latest move to Salford.
It is needless to add that Wellens will look to be a thorn in the side of the Shaymen and a lot to handle with his wealth of experience on Tuesday night.
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