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Richards Onboard

5 July 2013

Former Shrewsbury Town captain Matt Richards has today joined Cheltenham Town.

Cheltenham Town have today signed midfielder Matt Richards on a two year contract.

The former Ipswich and Shrewsbury midfielder arrived at the training ground this morning to sign his deal and met his team-mates before taking part in his first training session.

Matt, 28, was released by Shrewsbury in the summer and he admitted the chance to join Cheltenham Town was an easy decision to make.

"This is really good news for myself," he said.

"I've spoken to a few clubs but it was nice to be able to choose Cheltenham because I've heard great things about the club and the area so I am pleased to be here.

"As soon as I heard about Cheltenham I was really looking forward to coming here and playing. Whenever I have played against Cheltenham they have always done well and they like to pass the ball which is what I personally like to do too. 

"It's a lovely part of the world for my family too and that is important to me."

Harlow-born Matt started his career with Ipswich Town in the Academy system but he made his debut in the UEFA Cup against Avenir Beggen aged just 17. He received his only England U21 cap whilst with the club when he appeared in the victory over Ukraine in 2004. The midfielder is also a former England U16, U17 and U18 international. 

He served under both Joe Royle and Jim Magilton during his seven years with Ipswich and he also had three loan spells out with Brighton. Matt made 51 appearances during those three loan spells with the Seagulls and scored once. He returned to Ipswich in 2009 under new manager Roy Keane and he started in the club's 3-0 win over Cardiff but it proved to be his last appearance for the Tractor Boys before linking up with League One side Walsall. In total he made 138 appearances for Ipswich and scored 8 goals.

Two years were spent with Walsall and Matt made 86 appearances and scored 12 goals during that time. In 2011 he left the Bescot Stadium and was signed by Shrewsbury Town following a trial spell. Matt's first season with the club ended in promotion into League One and he was named player of the year by both his team-mates and supporters. He was named club captain last summer ahead of the club's fist season back in League One and he ended the 2012-13 season as the club's top goalscorer with 8 before leaving the club in May.

Matt, who can also play on the left side of midfield and at left back, has been given squad number 14 for the forthcoming 2013-14 campaign in League Two.

A full interview with Cheltenham Town's latest signing will be available here on www.ctfc.com and on Robins Player shortly.

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