Doncaster Rovers: Richie Wellens joins Shrewsbury

Richie Wellens

Richie Wellens

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Richie Wellens has signed an 18-month contract with Shrewsbury Town after negotiating his release from Doncaster Rovers.

The veteran midfielder had his contract at the Keepmoat cancelled by mutual consent earlier this week and has joined Rovers’ League One rivals.

And he said the offer of a deal beyond the end of the current campaign was too attractive to turn down.

“The 18 months was a big thing,” the 35-year-old said. “I feel fit and can play for a couple more seasons.

“It’s a good club. I’ve played at the stadium and it’s a club that’s looking to try and progress.”

Wellens started the first three games of Darren Ferguson’s tenure as Rovers boss but failed to make another appearance before joining Oldham Athletic on loan in late November.

He left Rovers having made 199 appearances over his two spells.

He said: “I’ve had a bit of a frustrating season.

“I was playing really well at the start of the season with Doncaster, then the new manager came in and I went on loan to Oldham.”

Wellens only managed three appearances on loan at Oldham due to postponements and ineligibility.

The Latics were thought to be keen on signing him permanently but would have struggled to compete in wage terms against rival suitors for a deal.

Wellens’ focus is to keep Shrewsbury in League One. Micky Mellon’s side currently sit one point clear of the bottom four having played a game more than the sides around them.

“I’ve known the manager quite a long time and I’m happy to be here working with him,” Wellens said.

“He’s a good talker. I like the way he put his plans across to me.

“Micky’s brought me in to stay in the league and if we can stay in the league this year then next year we can progress even more.

“I’ve played with some of the players who are already here before.

“I played with Zak Whitbread at Leicester, and Gerrard, and I’ve played with Andy Mangan at Blackpool.

“I’ll get to know the lads a little bit more over the next couple of weeks and get a connection on the pitch with them as well.”

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