Walsall FC are delighted to announce the signing of AFC Fylde midfielder James Hardy.
The 23-year-old becomes manager Darrell Clarke’s third summer recruit, following the arrivals of Stuart Sinclair and James Clarke.
On Manchester City’s books as a youngster, Hardy joined the Coasters in October 2015 and was named their 2016/17 Young Player of the Year.
The former England C international scored 16 goals in 44 league appearances for Fylde and helped them reach the National League play-off final last term.
“I’m buzzing to be here,” said Hardy, who also played six games on loan at Halifax in 2018/19.
“It’s a really big club with great fans. It is a great stadium and I am really looking forward to getting started. I can’t wait.
“I met the manager on Friday and everything he said sounded really positive. Once I had spoken to him, I wanted to get it sorted as quickly as possible and start pre-season training.
“I wanted to get everything done over the weekend so that I could get cracking from the first day and meet the lads that are already here.
“I am a creative player who likes to get on the ball and get on the half turn. I like to get in the pocket of space to receive the ball and hopefully I can chip in with a few goals and assists.
“I want to excite the fans.”
Darrell Clarke commented: “James is a match-winner and will give us something different at the top end of the pitch.
“He brings people into the game and has that natural technical ability to beat players at will.
“I’ve done very well with players like James, who has a Man City background. He then went on and played lots of games in non-league and did ever so well at AFC Fylde.
“He had big offers in the National League and it says a lot about the lad that he was desperate to play in league football and kick on his career.
“He’s got all the attributes to be a very talented player and it’s up to me and my coaching staff to get the best out of him.”
Hardy will officially join the Saddlers on 1st July when his contract expires at AFC Fylde.