Full Back - Left
Squad Number: 3
International: Republic of Ireland full
Ian is a nephew of Gary Kelly. Despite his relatively young age, Ian Harte is tenth in the all-time list of European appearances for Leeds United, bettered only by the career totals of players from the great Revie squad.
A regular international with a devastating free-kick, Ian can be frustratingly inconsistent. He is acknowledged to lack pace and has come in for some criticism from Leeds supporters. However, playing behind "Dirty Harry" Kewell did him no favours as he was a lazy sod who couldn't be bothered to get back and help defend, and so Harte was frequently exposed to opposition counter-attacks down the left. Interesting that Ireland seem happy with his performances, where he doesn't have to play behind the Antipodean idle git.
Harte's Leeds career nearly came to an end when Peter Reid agreed a season-long (03-04) loan to Portsmouth which only fell through on deadline day because the managers didn't understand the new complex rules governing loans between Premiership clubs. Meanwhile, Reid brought in left-sided player Didier Domi, plus Matteo is free to play on the left with 2 new central defenders also loaned-in, Camara and Roque Junior. Ian may be spending a lot of time playing in the stiffs this during 2003-04.
Update 9th July 2004. Today Ian signed a four-year deal with Levante, Valencia's "other" side. They are newly promoted into the Primera Liga having won last year's Second division Championship. We wish him well.
Update 16th February 2006: Levante were relegated at the end of the 2004-05 season and Ian Harte is rumoured to be moving back to the Championship with either Derby County or Wolves. Ian's performances have earned him the nickname of The Bull from the Levante fans.