Former Bristol City and Cardiff midfielder joins new club - two months after retirement

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Tomlin hung up the boots - but is now putting them back on after joining a new club

Former Bristol City midfielder Lee Tomlin has resumed his playing career - 57 days after he announced his retirement. Tomlin retired from football in October, citing an injury as his reason to hang up the boots, but he has now joined a non-league club.

Tomlin had joined Doncaster Rovers earlier this summer and had made 10 appearances for the League Two club this season. His contract with the Yorkshire club was cancelled by mutual consent, which has paved his way for a return to football, albeit at a lower level.

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The 33-year-old has joined Ilkeston Town, as a player-coach. Ilkeston are managed by former Nottingham Forest midfielder Jamie Ward and play in the Southern League Premier Division Central, which is the seventh tier of English football. Ironically, Ward joined Tomlin’s former club Cardiff City and the former Robins midfielder went in the other direction in the 2017/18 season.

Ilkeston are currently 10th in their division, 12 points off of first-placed Tamworth. They have other former Football League players including former Sheffield Wednesday striker Chris O’Grady.

A club statement read: “We are delighted to confirm the signing of attacking midfielder Lee Tomlin. The 33-year-old has agreed a deal to become player-coach at the Microlise New Manor Ground and will go straight into the squad for this weekend’s trip to Redditch United.”

Tomlin’s playing career has gone on for 17 years and he has gone from playing in the non-league with Rusden and Diamonds to playing with Bournemouth in the Premier League.

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At Bristol City, he spent a season-and-a-half, playing in 60 matches for the Robins, scoring 13 times and creating eight goals. His form saw him attract a move to Severnside rivals Cardiff City, where he was contracted for five years, but he had loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Peterborough United, before he was released, later joining Walsall.

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