A FORMER Rochdale forward has joined Guiseley thanks to a recommendation by ex-Lions goalkeeper Brad Wade.

The young goalkeeper, who was on loan at Nethermoor last season, suggested the club to former Rochdale teammate Matty Gillam when he was released by the League One side this summer.

After speaking to joint manager Russ O'Neill, the 22-year-old decided that north west Leeds would be his next destination.

Born in Kent, Gillam moved to current home Congleton in Cheshire, at an early age. He started playing football with a local junior club at seven and joined Port Vale's academy system shortly after.

At 12, scouts came calling from Manchester City. After three months there, he landed at Stoke City's academy.

However, Stoke didn't offer him a scholarship at 16, so Gillam moved on to Rochdale where he met Wade.

Gillam said: "Brad trained a year up in my group and we became mates. When I was told that I was being released, Brad told me how much he had enjoyed his time on loan at Guiseley, and said it would be good for me to go there.

"He put Russ O'Neill on to me and I really liked what Russ was saying about the club and the way the team worked. He sold it to me and now I cannot wait to get started."

Whilst at Rochdale, Gillam had loan spells at Stalybridge Celtic and Irish club Cork City. He got injured at the latter in the warm up to what should have been his first game.

Having kept himself fit during lockdown, Gillam is now looking forward to pulling on a Guiseley shirt and kick starting his career.