Oliver Casey: The right time to leave Leeds for Blackpool
Oliver Casey believes now is the ideal time to spread his wings and forge a career for himself away from boyhood club Leeds United.
It brings an end to a 10-year stay at Leeds his hometown club, where he came through the youth ranks.
Casey still had time remaining on his contract but, with game time unlikely at the Premier League club, the centre-back knew it was the right time to depart.
He told The Gazette: “It was a tough decision to leave but it would have been easy to stay there because I still had two years left on my contract.
“But you get to a point where you’ve got to make the move if you want to make a career for yourself. Sometimes you’ve got to make that step.
“I’m grateful to Blackpool for giving me the platform to make the step-up.”
Casey, who can also operate in central midfield, made his senior debut for Leeds off the bench against Huddersfield Town in December 2019.
The defender made two further first-team appearances last season, both in cup competitions.
He also turned out for Leeds’ Under-21 side on two occasions in the EFL Trophy, one of those coming in the 3-0 defeat against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.
Casey added: “It’s a step-up (from youth football), yes, but it’s one I’m capable of and I back myself to do it. I just can’t wait to get started.
“Everyone knows the Championship is one of the toughest leagues but I’m just looking forward to the challenge.
“I can’t wait to get in for pre-season training.
“I’m glad I got the move done for the start of pre-season so I can get in, meet all the lads, find out what the club is all about and get going as quickly as possible.”
The Seasiders have shown plenty of faith in Casey, handing him a three-year deal with the option to extend by 12 months.
The tough-tackling defender is excited to be a part of Blackpool’s journey, one that Casey feels is only just getting under way.
“It’s always nice to feel like you’re wanted and I appreciate that from Blackpool,” he said.
“Hopefully it will be a successful three years!
“The club has plenty of momentum and we can definitely kick on now from last season.
“I enjoyed watching Blackpool’s play-off games. It gave me a better idea of how they play and the thing I liked is how together they looked as a team and as a group. The football they play suits me as well.
“First and foremost, I’m a player that wants to get the job done and get a clean sheet if I can.
“But I also like to play and step out with the ball from the back. I enjoy doing that.”
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