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Club News


5 January 2023

Club News


5 January 2023

The Reds made their first signing of the January window on Thursday, bringing in striker Max Watters on loan from Cardiff City.

Joining until the end of the season, the 23-year-old links up with Michael Duff’s squad ahead of the second half of the 22/23 Sky Bet League One campaign.

In a career that has so far taken our latest recruit from non-league to the second tier of English football, we delve a little deeper into the story of Max Watters so far.


Humble beginnings

Born in Camden, on 23 March 1999, Watters began his footballing career with Essex-based non-league outfit Thurrock, aged 16. A loan spell at Barking followed, before joining Ashford United on a permanent deal in 2018. Watters enjoyed a fruitful spell at ‘The Homelands’, scoring eight goals in 25 league appearances, leading to the then 18-year-old earning himself a first move into the EFL.

Professional settings

South Yorkshire beckoned for Watters, with Doncaster Rovers securing the services of the promising youngster on a two-year deal. During his time at the Keepmoat, Watters continued his footballing education with loan spells at Grantham Town, Gainsborough Trinity, Mickleover Sports and Maidstone United. After making six appearances for Rovers, he was released after two years at the club.

Impressing the opposition


A performance whilst on trial with Maidstone United in the summer of 2020 against Crawley Town impressed the Sky Bet League Two outfit and led to Watters signing a one-year-deal at Broadfield Stadium. West Sussex seemed to fit like a glove, with the frontman scoring on both his full and league debut. Watters had a rip-roaring start with Crawley, bagging 16 goals in 19 appearances. This scintillating form caught the attention of Sky Bet Championship suitors.

Cardiff calling


Fighting off other clubs in the English footballing pyramid, Cardiff City tied down Watters on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2021 for a reported seven figure fee.

After a staggered start in the Welsh capital, Milton Keynes Dons was the next step in the journey of Watters, joining on a season-long loan deal in July 2021. It was a frustrating start to life at Stadium MK, picking up an injury, delaying his debut until 11 September. A week later, Watters got off the mark against Gillingham in a 4-1 win away win for the Dons.


This was the start of yet another tidy run in front of goal for the Englishman, netting 6 in 13 which prompted the Bluebirds hierarchy to recall their frontman in January 2022.

On his first appearance back in Wales, Watters netted in the Severnside derby at Ashton Gate in a match the Bluebirds ended up losing 3-2 against Bristol City, looking in danger of the drop with the end of the season fast approaching. Making seven more appearances that campaign, Watters contributed in the effort to keep the side in the Sky Bet Championship for another season.

Watters has gone on to make 11 appearances for Cardiff this campaign, and after falling out of favour in Wales, he now joins the Reds looking to reignite his electric form found both at Crawley and MK Dons to help Michael Duff’s men finish the Sky Bet League One season strongly.


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