The 32-year-old captained Scottish Premiership side Motherwell FC to a third place finish last season.
Former Motherwell FC captain Peter Hartley has signed for Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Jamshedpur FC, Khel Now understands. The 32-year-old defender has been a free agent since July and will join the Men of Steel on ahead of the upcoming 2020-21 ISL season.
“Jamshedpur FC have reached an agreement with the defender over a move for two years,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. The centre-back will thus be a part of Owen Coyle’s squad until the end of the 2021-22 season.
Peter Hartley began his football career at Sunderland and signed his first professional contract in 2006. He then rose through the ranks at the club, before joining Hartlepool United five years later. Moves to Stevenage, Plymouth, Bristol Rovers and Blackpool followed and he made over 200 League One appearances for all the above sides and also helped Plymouth to successive League Two playoff campaigns, before joining Scottish Premiership side Motherwell, initially on a loan deal in 2017.
Motherwell made him a permanent signing the following year and he played over 60 matches for them across three seasons. Ahead of the 2018–19 season, he was also named the club’s skipper, replacing Carl McHugh who chose to step down from the position.
The recently-concluded 2019-20 season was fairly successful for both the 32-year-old and Motherwell, as he captained them to a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership. However, the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic left the club unable to offer him a new contract, which is why he was released in July.
“I am happy with the work I have done and I am just looking forward to what the future holds because I want a new challenge. I want to be working in an ambitious environment. That’s something I thrive off,” Hartley had said in an interview in July. Based on the latest developments at Jamshedpur FC, it appears that the Men of Steel have offered him the opportunity that he was looking for.
Jamshedpur themselves are looking to achieve new heights under their new coach Owen Coyle, who recently joined them after leading Chennaiyin FC to the ISL final last season. The 54-year-old has significant experience in English and Scottish football himself, having worked Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Wigan Atheltic, Blackburn Rovers and Ross County before moving to India in 2019.
Under Coyle, it will not be a major surprise if Hartley returns to his peak. The experienced centre-back can also bring a new dimension in the team’s defence line.