Ex-Bolton Wanderers defender Joe Riley takes up recruitment role with League One competitors

Former Bolton Wanderers defender Joe Riley has joined fellow League One side Fleetwood Town as the club’s new head of recruitment.

The 30-year-old came through the youth team ranks at Wanderers and made nine appearances for the club. Riley joined Oxford United on loan in 2014 before moving permanently to Bury in January 2015.

The right-back later moved to Shrewsbury Town in 2016 and spent two years with Salop, playing 55 rimes and scoring three goals. He joined Plymouth Argyle in the summer of 2018, playing 38 times in one-and-a-half seasons for the Pilgrims, before moving to Mansfield Town in January 2020.

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But he ended up making just six appearances for the Stags and was forced to call time on his playing career, after picking up anterior cruciate ligament damage in pre-season in the summer of 2020. He confirmed his retirement from professional football last summer at the age of 29.

Since retiring from playing, Riley has worked for a football agency alongside a number of professionals. He also undertaken media duties as a co-commentator for Wanderers matches on BBC Radio Manchester.

But he has now been confirmed as the new head of recruitment at the Cod Army. He has already helped Scott Brown’s side with their summer transfer dealings so far.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Fleetwood Town are happy to announce Joe Riley has joined the club as the new Head of Recruitment.

“Riley had a decade-long footballing career that started at Bolton Wanderers, where he picked up three Premier League appearances, with his debut coming in a 5-0 win over Stoke City back in 2011.

“After moving away from Wanderers, he then helped his next side, Bury, earn their way back to League One after finishing third in the league, before making 80 more appearances for Shrewsbury Town, Plymouth Argyle, and Mansfield Town combined.

“The former full-back then was forced into retirement a year ago after a knee injury and decided to stay in the industry, working for a football agency where he worked alongside a number of professionals.

“The 30-year-old has now made the move to join the Cods and has been instrumental in the dealings from the summer transfer window so far. Welcome to Fleetwood, Joe!”


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