Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Defender Richard Eckersley Says It's Nice to Be Where He's Wanted: TFC Defender Says It's Nice to Be Wanted

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto FC Defender Richard Eckersley Says It's Nice to Be Where He's Wanted: TFC Defender Says It's Nice to Be Wanted

Article excerpt

TORONTO - Richard Eckersley says it's nice to feel wanted.

The steady defender made his move to Toronto FC permanent Thursday, signing a deal with the club after spending last season on loan from English side Burnley FC.

"(Contract talks) have been ongoing for a couple of months and it's good to just get it out of the way and concentrate on football and concentrate on the rest of the season," Eckersley said at Toronto FC's media day Wednesday.

The 22-year-old joined TFC last April and saw action in 23 matches, including 22 starts. Like many players arriving from Europe, he came to Major League Soccer not knowing what to expect.

"I knew a little bit about the MLS from watching games and teams coming over in pre-season but I didn't realize actually how good the standard was and that actually swayed my decision," Eckersley said. "People don't realize how good the standard is in the MLS and it's improving all the time year by year so I'm looking forward to the challenge."

A fan favourite who often wears his emotions on his sleeve, Eckersley made it clear at the end of last season he wanted to stay in North America after a fallout with management at Burnley.

"Burnley's in the past. It was a very frustrating time for me. I've got no time for them to be honest and they've got no time for me," he said. "It's good to be somewhere and be appreciated and give everything for the team and get the opportunity to play."

The native of Salford, England, began his youth career at Manchester United and made two appearances with the senior team. He was also part of Manchester United's League Cup-winning side against Tottenham in March 2009.

Eckersley signed a four-year contract with Burnley in July 2009 and went on separate loan deals to Plymouth Argyle, Bradford City and Bury before coming to Canada.

"Signing Richard was a very high off-season priority, our team has worked tirelessly to ensure he would be returning," Toronto FC head coach Aron Winter said in a statement. "This signing represents another successful step in our off-season progress as a club. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.