Huddersfield Town has today completed the signing of midfielder Keith Southern from Blackpool for an undisclosed fee.
Manager Simon Grayson has been seeking an accomplished and established Championship midfield man to compliment his midfield department and Southern fits that bill perfectly, having played 375 career games at the age of 31 – which includes over 150 in the Championship and Premier League.
Southern, who has signed a two year contract at ‘The Yorkshire Club’, worked under Grayson as the Tangerines were promoted out of League 1 in the 2006/07 season and played 26 games in the Championship last season despite being diagnosed with and treated for testicular cancer in December, which kept him on the sidelines for two months.
His transfer ends his ten year association with Blackpool, who he joined from Everton in 2002.
Manager Simon Grayson heralded Southern’s arrival as a key capture in his summer recruitment:
“We have been very patient waiting to get the right man with specific attributes for a key role. I know exactly what Keith’s all about; I played with him and managed him at Blackpool and he’s got great ability. He’s a wholehearted player, a real leader and he’s operated at all levels; League 1, the Championship and the Premiership, where he was at the heart of the team.
“I’m delighted to have got him – he adds to the competition for places that we already have. We’ve got some good options now, because Oliver and Adam have joined us and Oscar and Anton have both had really good pre-seasons. We can choose whether we will play two or three in there.
“Keith’s arrival gives us a different type of midfield player. I’ve been looking to create a mix this summer that offers options for different circumstances. We’re working hard all the time and we keep trying to improve.”
Born in Gateshead, Southern was captain of Everton’s reserve side in 2001/02 – where he was a teammate of Town skipper Peter Clarke – before moving to Blackpool, initially on loan, ahead of the 2002/03 Division Two season. After an impressive three months he moved to Bloomfield Road permanently for an undisclosed fee, where he has become a key figure over the last decade.
Named the Blackpool Gazette’s Player of the Year in 2003, Southern has starred as Blackpool rose from League 1 to the Premier League – being a virtual ever-present and being named ‘Man of the Match’ in Blackpool’s Championship Play-Off Final triumph over Cardiff City in 2010.
He hit a personal high of six goals from midfield in the 2007/08 season, but he is better known for his robust, tough-tackling style of play in the engine room.
He was awarded a testimonial and has achieved hero status at Blackpool and leaves with just a year remaining on his contract there.
Keith will wear the number 24 shirt at Huddersfield Town.
A full interview with Keith will appear on htafc.com shortly!