MK Dons have announced Ryan Harley as their Sixth signing of the summer, joining former team-mate Jordan Moore-Taylor at Stadium MK as well as previous Exeter manager Paul Tisdale.
Ryan Harley Joins MK Dons
Harley brings to an end his fourth spell at Exeter (his second permanent stint). Over his four periods with the club, he amassed over 200 appearances and scored over 30 goals; a credible return for a midfielder.
Harley came through the ranks at Bristol City, where he made his professional debut, but failed to kick on with the Robins. He spent time with then Conference South side Weston-super-Mare before going one division higher to join Exeter, who were then in the Conference.
Harley enjoyed his longest spell with the club during this time, making over 100 appearances. Harley’s performances attracted the interest of Brendan Rodgers and Swansea, and Harley made the move to South Wales in the winter transfer window of the 2010/11 season. He was loaned back to Exeter for the remainder of the season.
Harley left Swansea without making an appearance for the club and joined fellow Championship side, Brighton. Part-way through his spell with the Seagulls, he was loaned to MK Dons for the remainder of the 2012/13 season. Harley made eight appearances for the club and scored the third goal in a memorable 4-2 away win over then Premier League side QPR in the FA Cup.
Harley’s contract was terminated upon his return to Brighton and after a brief stint with Swindon Town, he returned to Exeter for the fourth time in 2015, after being on loan there beforehand.
Getting the Best
Paul Tisdale was able to get the best out of Harley when he returned to the club in 2015. Harley scored 13 goals in 77 appearances this time around, from midfield. He was a big part of Exeter’s run to the League Two play-off final in both 2016/17 and 2017/18 and has all of the required experience needed that will help MK Dons get out of League Two.
He also knows the club to some extent after his short loan spell in Buckinghamshire. However, with all of the recent changes that have taken place at Stadium MK, and almost a complete overhaul since Harley was last there, it will be interesting to see how he performs for the club once again.