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Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Harte completes Blackpool move

Ian Harte
Harte made 288 appearances for Leeds between 1995 and 2004

Blackpool have signed former Leeds United and Sunderland defender Ian Harte on an initial one-month deal.

The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international was a free agent following his release by Roy Keane from the Stadium of Light in June.

"They're a good bunch of lads here," Harte told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"I knew a few of them here anyway and they have made me feel very welcome and I'm looking forward to the challenge that's ahead."

The Drogheda-born player has been training at Bloomfield Road for the last 10 days after trials at Championship rivals Wolves, Sheffield United and Charlton.

It's been a good career and hopefully I can finish it with a club like Blackpool

Ian Harte

He believes it has given Blackpool manager Simon Grayson a decent opportunity to see what he can offer to the Championship club.

"I was due to sign for Charlton before Alan Pardew left, and got a call off Simon asking me to come in for a week and take it from there.

"For someone like me who's not got a team you've got to make sure you keep your fitness levels up, and hopefully when the opportunity does come you hit the ground running.

Harte, who has won 64 international caps, began his career at Leeds and spent nine years at Elland Road after joining them from League of Ireland club Home Farm in 1995.

He helped the Yorkshire club reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001, before losing the two-legged tie to Valencia.

After joining Spanish side Levante in 2004, Harte returned to England three years later, but made only eight appearances before being released.

"I'm experienced and I've looked after myself and I just want to play for as long as I can.

"It's been a good career and hopefully I can finish it with a club like Blackpool."

He will be available for selection for Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest.

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see also
Harte lands new Leeds deal
05 Jul 01 |  Leeds United
Harte: Leeds are weakest link
01 May 01 |  Champions League
Sunderland sign left-back Harte
29 Aug 07 |  Sunderland


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