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Paul Downing Joins On Loan

13 January 2022

Rochdale Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Paul Downing on loan from Portsmouth.

The defender joins from the League One side on a deal until the end of the season.

He brings a wealth of experience, clocking up nearly 300 Football League appearances for clubs such as Walsall, Blackburn Rovers and Doncaster Rovers.

Upon joining Dale, Downing said: “I’m delighted to get it over the line. I didn’t take much convincing.

“The conversations I’ve had with the manager were that we’ve got a good group of players and quite a young team which I can bring a bit of experience to.

“I want to enjoy my football again, get as many minutes on the pitch as possible and help the team be successful.

“There are a lot of games still to play, there are ambitions that we want to achieve as a team, and I can’t wait to get going.”

Manager Robbie Stockdale commented: “I’m very pleased. He’s an experienced player at a very high level.

“More importantly, he’s a leader. He’s going to help us massively, both on the pitch and off it. Getting another good character in the building is always a good thing.

“We feel we’ve got some really talented young defenders and they will be learning all the time from someone like Paul. We’ve got Jim McNulty in the building who leads by example every day as well.

“You can’t have enough good enough players and Paul is another one that we’ve managed to get in.”

Downing is a product of West Bromwich Albion’s academy, signing professional terms with the Baggies in 2008.

He spent time on loan at Hereford United, Shrewsbury Town and Barnet, before joining Walsall on a permanent deal in 2012, where he would make 183 appearances for the Saddlers.

Two seasons at MK Dons would follow, after which he joined Blackburn, helping them achieve promotion to the Championship in the 2017/18 season.

The 30-year-old spent time on loan at Doncaster the following campaign, helping them to reach the League One playoff semi-finals, where they were narrowly beaten by Charlton Athletic in a penalty shootout.

He then moved to Fratton Park in the summer of 2019, signing a three-year contract.

Welcome to the Crown Oil Arena, Paul!

The deal is subject to FA and EFL confirmation.


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