Joe Riley


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1991 (28 years old)

Birth Place
Salford, England


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6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)






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2nd Team

English League 2

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Joseph Michael Riley (born 13 October 1991) is an English footballer who plays for Plymouth Argyle as a right back.

Bolton Wanderers
Born in Salford, Greater Manchester, Riley started his professional career at Bolton Wanderers since he was seven and attended Walkden High School. A product of the youth system, Riley started regularly playing in the reserve side led Riley signing his first professional contract at the club.

Riley made his competitive debut in the League Cup tie at home to Macclesfield Town on 24 August 2011. Riley went on to make his Premier League debut at right-back in a 5–0 victory over Stoke City at the Reebok Stadium on 6 November 2011. He received a standing ovation by the Bolton fans when substituted late in the game. After starting the next game against West Brom, Riley suffered a hamstring injury, disrupting the start to his debut season. He returned in the FA Cup match against Macclesfield Town on 7 January 2012.

On 23 February, both Riley and Michael O'Halloran signed new three-and-a-half-year contracts, committing them to the club until the summer of 2015. Despite his determination to make a return to the first team, Manager Dougie Freedman quoted on Riley: "Joe Riley needed to go out and play some games as well but we couldn’t quite find the right development team for him." However, Riley spent most of the 2012–13 season because of the succession of injuries limited him to just two starts.

Ahead of the 2013–14 season, Riley returned to the first team in the pre-season friendly and things got worse for him when he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in a friendly against Skelmersdale, which kept him out for ten months, implied that he may miss the 2013–14 season.

Oxford United (loan)
After ridding himself of the injuries that had stopped his progress over the last two years, Riley joined Oxford United on loan on 28 July 2014.

Riley made his Oxford United debut, making his first start in a year, in the opening game of the season, as Oxford United lose 1–0 against Burton Albion. After making 28 appearances in total (22 league) for Oxford, Riley returned to Bolton on 3 January 2015. Upon his return to Bolton, Oxford United were keen to sign Riley on loan for the second time.

With less than six months remaining on his Bolton contract, Wanderers manager Neil Lennon decided against offering Riley a new deal and accepted an offer from Bury. On 14 January 2015, Riley completed a free transfer to Bury, in a deal that included a sell-on clause in Bolton's favour.

His debut was delayed - due to a hamstring injury he sustained in training - until 27 January, where he came on as a substitute for Kelvin Etuhu in the second half, in a 1–0 loss against Accrington Stanley. He was sent-off in the 49th minute after making a challenge on Tom Newey, in a 2–1 win over Northampton Town on 21 March 2015. After serving a three match ban, He returned to the side and scored the only goal against Shrewsbury Town to confirm the club's qualification to the play-offs. Eventually, Riley helped the club finish in third place, and therefore promoted to League One automatically. In his first half-season at Bury, Riley made seventeen appearance and scored once.

Shrewsbury Town
Riley moved to fellow League One side Shrewsbury Town in July 2016 for an undisclosed fee, signing a two-year deal. Ever-present in the early part of the 2016–17 season, he scored his first goal for the club on 3 September, the winner in a 3–2 victory over Oldham Athletic. Riley's match time was restricted by a number of injuries during the season, which saw him undergoing a knee operation in October, missing two weeks with a hamstring injury in February, breaking his wrist in April, before suffering ligament damage and a broken fibula in the final match of the season.

Following surgery and subsequent recovery from his leg-break, Riley returned to the side in an EFL Trophy group-stage match against Coventry City on 29 August 2017. With the scores tied at 2−2, and Shrewsbury reduced to ten men following the dismissal of fellow right-back James Bolton, Riley came on as a late substitute and scored a 25-yard free-kick in injury time to earn his side a 3−2 victory.

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