NATHAN CLARKE has been hailed as “a major signing” for League I Leyton Orient.
Following in the footsteps of younger brother Tom, who had a long loan spell at Brisbane Road last season, the 28-year-old central defender has penned a two-year deal following his release by Town.
It’s a big career move for the popular Clarke, who has been associated with Town since the age of nine and has been a lifelong fan of the Galpharm club.
After his own loan spells at Oldham and Bury last season, Clarke was philosophical about his release by Simon Grayson – one of eight players let go after the play-off final success at Wembley.
And he made it clear he would bide his time to make sure he got the right move in League I.
Working under Russell Slade in London is that move, and Clarke will be looking forward to playing against Charlton in the Capital One Cup before the opening League I fixture against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on August 18.
“We’ve been chasing Nathan for most of the close season and we’re absolutely delighted to have landed him,” said Slade.
“He was well sought after by a lot of clubs. We’ve had to be patient and that patience has paid off.
“We conceded 77 goals last year – that was the most I’ve ever conceded and we needed to do some work on that.
“I feel as if we’ve improved that unit and we’ve got competition for places. Nathan is a major signing for us and I’m delighted to bring him in.”
Clarke came through the youth ranks at Town and, after being given his debut by Lou Macari in 2001, he made 300 appearances in blue and white stripes.