Fans have been left stunned on Thursday morning as Welsh international Joe Ledley finally signs for League Two club Newport County.
The 34 year old has previously been in training with the club, numerous times, and joined the promotion hopefuls on a deal until the end of the season.
Ledley was linked with Newport last year, but instead signed for Australian side Newcastle Jets on a short-term deal. He also had eyes on Bristol Rovers, but didn’t join up with them.
Newport County AFC have completed the signing of @Cymru international Joe Ledley on a deal until the end of the season.✍️🏴
— Newport County AFC (@NewportCounty) March 18, 2021
Newport County AFC have completed the signing of Wales international Joe Ledley until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.
The midfielder, who will wear the number 34 jersey during his time with the Exiles, has penned a deal for the remainder of the 2020-21 Sky Bet League Two campaign and brings a wealth of experience to Rodney Parade having racked up more than 500 career appearances.
After graduating from Cardiff City’s academy, Ledley went on to make more than 250 senior appearances during his time with the Bluebirds, helping them on their way to the 2008 FA Cup final after scoring the winning goal against Barnsley in the semi-final. He also reached the 2010 Championship play-off final, where he netted against Blackpool but narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight.
Ledley then joined Celtic in 2010 and spent three-and-a-half seasons with the Scottish Premiership outfit. He won three Scottish Premiership titles, lifted the Scottish Cup and also featured in the UEFA Champions League with the Hoops.
Following his time at Parkhead, Ledley made the switch to Premier League side Crystal Palace in January 2014 and enjoyed three-and-a-half years in the top flight with the Eagles, who he helped reach the 2016 FA Cup final.
Spells in the Championship with Derby County, where he worked under Frank Lampard, and Charlton Athletic followed for the midfielder before he departed the latter in January 2020 and began training with the Exiles to stay fit. Ledley then decided to up sticks and move abroad to Australia, where he made six A-League appearances for Newcastle Jets last season.
The 34-year-old has also been a consistent figure on the international stage and made 77 appearances for Wales, with his last cap coming in a friendly against Mexico in 2018. He played a key part in helping Wales reach their first major tournament in 58 years at Euro 2016 before playing in each game in their run to the semi-finals of the competition.
Ledley said: “It’s a privilege to be here. I was here last January training with the team and the chairman and manager both welcomed me, so to come back and repay them for what they did for me is remarkable. It’s been great what the team have done so far and we want to can carry that on now.
“I’ve got a lot of experience and been towards the top end of tables a few times. It’s only a short contract but hopefully we can get over the finish line.”
Manager Michael Flynn added: “It’s great to have Joe on board because he has trained with us previously and was close to joining us last season. I understood why he went to play out in Australia because it was a brilliant opportunity for him, but I’m glad that he’s finally signed for us now.
“I think he will have a big part to play on and off the pitch between now and the end of the season, and his experience will help us get where we want to be.”
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1996–2004 – Cardiff City
2004–2010 – Cardiff City – 229 games (27 goals)
2010–2014 – Celtic – 106 games (20 goals)
2014–2017 – Crystal Palace – 83 games (6 goals)
2017–2019 – Derby County – 30 games (2 goals)
2019–2020 – Charlton Athletic – 1 game (0 goals)
2020 – Newcastle Jets – 6 games (0 goals)
2003–2004 – Wales U17 – 6 games (0 goals)
2004–2005 – Wales U19 – 3 games (0 goals)
2005–2008 – Wales U21 – 5 games (0 goals)
2005– Wales – 77 games (4 goals)
As mentioned, fans were left stunned as Joe Ledley signs for League Two club Newport County…
@LEGGEMAN_x: AINT NOBODY LIKE JOE LEDLEY!
@LisaHun80828579: Ohhh wow! awesome!
@howells_jolyon: Oh my god, I can’t believe it
@Georgeprothero7: HOLY MOTHER OF SHIT 😍😍😍
@miff08: Massive signing 👍
@AaronNCAFC_: LETS GOOOOO
@callumtomos: What 😂😂 get in
@haydenjones1966: Fuck off this is brilliant
@Kevbartleyy: Newport top with Ledley on the back?
@ryantom1126: YOU SEXY FUCKER
@lisahoey9: Having watched Joe play for both Celtic and Wales we are super excited in our house to watch him play for @NewportCounty welcome @joe16led
@benjsull: Wilfred bony next isiiiii
@SeanMills6: DRAKEFORD OPEN THE GROUNDS NOW
@RhysLock: Oh my god oh my god oh my god
@claireindubai: Yes, yes, yes, yes..OMG, Yes! @JoeHopkin3 Have you seen this son? I could cry!
@DannyClarry: Decent signing that
@bo_bennett: Wow! Where did that come from!
@jamieoconnell12: Heck of a signing for newport that!
@Jonny_Mc06: Some of the signings in League 2 this year have been bonkers.
@BMCPFC: Yessss go on son
@ChardAlan: Tell me I’m not asleep dreaming
@JuicyJay_ox: Quality! Yes Joe!
— TheWelshDragon 🏴🐉 (@TheWelshDragon9) March 18, 2021
— Tom Wall (@tom_wall1998) March 18, 2021