Derby County added
experienced central defender Sonny Bradley to their squad ahead of the
upcoming 2023/24 Sky Bet League One season.
Bradley became the Rams’ fifth summer signing after arriving as a free agent on a two-year deal that will run until the summer of 2025.
The centre-back, who left Luton Town in May after captaining them to promotion to the Premier League, has made 450 appearances in club football and linked up with Derby looking to add to the three promotions already to his name.
Hull-born Bradley came through the youth ranks at hometown club Hull City and, after joining at the age of seven, he earned a professional contract in 2011.
He gained first-team experience out on loan in the National League North with Harrogate Town and Swedish Division 1 Norra team IK Frej in the 2010/11 season.
Another loan stint, this time in League Two with Aldershot Town in the 2011/12 campaign, followed before he returned to Hull to make his debut for the club as a substitute in their 2-0 home defeat to Coventry City in March 2012. He followed that up with his first start for the Tigers in a 2-0 loss at Millwall the following month.
Bradley returned to Aldershot for the 2012/13 season in League Two and he was a regular throughout the campaign, during which he scored his first senior goal in a 2-1 win at Southend United. He was released by his boyhood club at the end of his contract that summer.
Portsmouth was Bradley’s next destination and he featured consistently at the heart of their defence during their 2013/14 League Two campaign and went on to make the step up to League One a year later by joining Crawley Town for an undisclosed fee.
He spent two years with Crawley, the first ended in relegation back to League Two, and he moved across the fourth tier in the summer of 2016 when he signed for Plymouth Argyle. Bradley’s first season at Home Park was a resounding success as Argyle claimed automatic promotion and he was named in the League Two Team of the Season.
After another successful campaign back in the third tier in 2017/18, Luton Town was Bradley’s next port of call and he played a key role in their League One title triumph in the 2018/19 campaign, as well as wearing the captain’s armband.
He remained a key member of the side at Kenilworth Road for the next four seasons to take his appearance total up to 175 for the club and, after a Play-Off Semi Final defeat to Huddersfield Town in 2021/22, he was captain of the Hatters squad that gained promotion in 2022/23 via a Play-Off Final win on penalties against Coventry City.
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