Zak Whitbread: Shrewsbury Town sign defender on short-term deal

Derby defender Zak Whitbread
Zak Whitbread made 15 appearances for Derby County after signing, initially on loan, in October 2013

Shrewsbury Town have signed experienced defender Zak Whitbread as a free agent, following his release in the summer by Championship club Derby County.

The 31-year-old Texas-born former Liverpool trainee has signed a short-term deal until January.

After leaving Anfield, where he made seven first-team appearances, he then spent four seasons with Millwall.

He also spent two seasons each with Norwich City and Leicester City before moving on to Derby.

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Whitbread sold on Mellon's passion

Boss Micky Mellon had been looking to strengthen his defence after admitting that his team are struggling following the summer sale of Connor Goldson to Brighton.

Whitbread, who has scored seven goals in 210 career appearances, joins a Town side sitting 14th in League One, three points above the relegation zone. But he is already looking at the other end of the League One table.

"I was at Norwich and we went into the Championship and then we went straight up again - and there's no reason why Shrewsbury can't do that," he told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"There are some talented players here, and with extra confidence and a bit of momentum we can get up that table.

"I nearly went to America in the summer. I was training with New England Revolution, but I'd just had a son and I thought it wasn't the right time to make the move. So I came back and I'm looking to kick on here.

"I'm signed until January, and then we can sit down and talk about things. Hopefully the time will benefit both of us."

Town teenager Jones signs first pro contract
Shrewsbury have signed one of their young scholars, teenage striker Ethan Jones, on his first professional contract. Jones, 17, who has already scored eight goals for the youth team this season, has signed a two-year deal.

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