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Slam Dunk! Chey eyes promotion tilt after joining Shrewsbury Town

New recruit Chey Dunkley revealed the prospect of pushing Shrewsbury Town towards promotion enticed him to Shropshire.

Shrewsbury Town have signed former Oxford, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday defender Chey Dunkley. Pic: AMA
Shrewsbury Town have signed former Oxford, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday defender Chey Dunkley. Pic: AMA

Town achieved an eye-catching coup yesterday to beat rivals to the signature of the free agent defender, who penned a two-year contract with the option of a third following his release from Sheffield Wednesday.

Dunkley, 30, is a League One title-winner with Wigan and has amassed more than 200 Football League appearances, as well as a significant number in the Championship. The Wolverhampton-born centre-back admits he would not have signed were it not for a shot at at promotion and, while up to 15 clubs may target that, he was encouraged by manager Steve Cotterill’s pedigree.

“It was a general chat,” said Dunkley. “He’s been in the game long enough, he’d have done his research on me as a player.

“What sold it to me was that he’s also got promoted from this division – with Bristol City I believe – so he’s got experience of winning the league and I’ve got experience of winning the league.

“It’s going to be tough – there will be 12 to 15 teams trying to achieve what we’re trying to achieve, which is to get promoted – whether that’s through play-offs or automatics, it’s definitely going to be tough.

“It’s a challenge, I’m up for it, hopefully we can achieve what we set out to which is to get promoted, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think there’s a chance of getting promoted.

“Yes I’m 30 but I’m still learning, no player isn’t learning in the game, it’s a challenge and I’m trying to do the best I can for the club.”

Dunkley’s breakthrough came at non-league Hednesford Town and Kidderminster Harriers, where impressive and dominant performances as a youngster earned him a Football League move to Oxford. He then switched to Wigan, beating Paul Hurst’s Town to the League One title, and Sheffield Wednesday in 2020.

The defender describes himself as a committed player with strong leadership qualities. His experience in the Championship to that of fellow new recruits Jordan Shipley, Tom Bayliss and Julien Dacosta.

He added: “Something else he brought to my attention was that it’s not a massive squad so that might open more doors for me to play more games. It’s not a given, I have to earn it, but I’ll work hard and make sure I’m a regular starter.”

Dunkley admitted he was left frustrated with a lack of game time in a difficult spell at Hillsborough. He made 21 outings in League One last season and 36 in all competitions in two seasons for the Owls.

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