Adelaide sign Man Utd product nicknamed Terminator: ‘He is the perfect player for us’

Adelaide United have signed English midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, who most recently played for Portsmouth, on a two-year deal.

The 30-year-old has accrued more than 350 games of experience in English professional football, beginning his career at Manchester United where he was scouted at just nine years of age, before going on to represent Luton Town and Millwall in the Championship and earning Premier league appearances with Fulham. His most recent stint was at English League One club Portsmouth where the central midfielder scored three goals in 69 appearances.

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In 2010-11, Tunnicliffe won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award at Manchester United, and lifted the FA Youth Cup trophy in May, 2011.

Tunnicliffe says fellow Englishman and new Reds teammate Zach Clough will be crucial in helping him settle into his new environment in the City of Churches. He joins Clough in a relatively inexperienced Adelaide midfield unit that will greatly benefit from his arrival.

“I’m absolutely over the moon to have signed for United and it poses a great challenge and change for me after playing in England all of my life,” Tunnicliffe said.

“I’ll be leaning on guys like Zach (Clough) to help get me settled and I can’t wait to play at Coopers Stadium which is one of the best grounds in the league and comparable to England I hear.

“You see more and more of the A-League over in the UK with plenty moving over all the time, so this seems like a natural fit for me and I can’t wait to get started.”


Adelaide head coach Carl Veart said Tunnicliffe brings vital leadership qualities to the club.

“Ryan has a wealth of experience in the game with a never-say-die mentality, and we’re really looking forward to his leadership and grit on the park this season,” he said.

“He is the perfect player for United as we feel he will fit the mould and physicality of the A-League perfectly.

“As someone who has been in Championship and Premier League changerooms for most of his career, his football technical ability and the professionalism he will bring can only boost the entire squad.”

Tunnicliffe in action for Manchester United against Newcastle United in the English League Cup at Old Trafford in 2012.