Former Penrith AFC midfielder and Carlisle United trialist Matty Clarke insists he is keen to prove himself at Bradford (Park Avenue).

Clarke joined the Bonny Blues in late January and impressed for Andy Coyles’ men in the second-half of the 2018/19 season. 

The former Kendal Town man caught the eye of Carlisle director of football David Holdsworth and boss Steven Pressley in United’s 3-1 Cumberland Cup final win over Penrith in April and was assessed during a trial week last month at Brunton Park. 

But last Friday, Clarke linked up with National League North outfit Bradford on a one-year deal, following Kendal-born manager Garry Thompson and assistant Shaun Gardner to the Horsfall Stadium.

“I’m really excited to be joining Bradford (Park Avenue),” said Clarke.

“I had a few offers to go into League Two, but speaking with Garry and Shaun and the Bradford directors about what they are about and what they are doing made the decision easy for me. I know Shaun from Penrith, and I know he and Garry want a successful and hard working squad and a positive place to play football.

"So, that suits me and the way I try and approach my football. I want to prove myself and can’t wait to meet everyone at the club and start the pre-season.”

Thompson, who recently replaced Mark Bower as Bradford boss, added: “Shaun and I have known of Matty for a while now.

"He is highly regarded up in his local area and has demonstrated he is ready for the next level. He has a very professional attitude and has shown a great attitude to commit to Bradford (Park Avenue) where he will work hard to prove himself at the level.”

Clarke became Bradford’s second summer signing as he joined after Ben Hedley also joined from Morecambe last week.

“Ben was excellent last season at League Two standard but lacked opportunities,” Thompson said to The Telegraph and Argus

“When he was provided the chance to show his ability, he excelled.

"Ben’s character and attitude fit exactly what we are looking for and, for him to show his commitment to the club to drop back and prove himself, is exactly the ethic and focus we admire and respect.

“I said when I started a few weeks ago that supporters of Bradford (Park Avenue) who support the club with a season ticket purchase and their time and commitment week in, week out, should expect us to build a team that reflects their level of commitment.

"Ben will work hard and leave nothing on the pitch for the supporters who come to Horsfall to watch us.”