Martyn Woolford has revealed why he rejected the chance to play Championship football next season in favour of a move to Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
The former Millwall winger was speaking after becoming Sheffield United’s first new signing of the Nigel Adkins era having agreed a two year contract yesterday.
Woolford, who was born in Featherstone, told The Star: “I had offers to stay in that division but the size of this club and what I want to achieve in the game meant this option immediately felt right.
“The goal for every footballer is to play in the Premier League and I’ve still got the ambition to do that.
“This is a club where I feel I can achieve my ambitions. It isn’t a case of dropping down a level at all because of the set-up and the desire to do well here.
“Quite the opposite in fact.”
Woolford, aged 29, joins United after leaving The Den at the end of last season. The former England C international previously worked under Adkins at Scunthorpe where, after leaving York City, he scored the goal which condemned the Londoners to defeat in 2009’s League One play-off final at Wembley.
“It always helps when you know the gaffer,” Woolford said. “I know how ambitious he is, how driven he is and what he expects of his players.
“That was another factor behind decision. The size of the club and knowing him.
“It made me choose this club over others in the Championship. It was about football, I was never at the stage where I simply wanted to come back up north.”
Woolford, who can operate on either flank, featured in 84 per cent of Millwall’s 99 games over the past two seasons and Adkins cited that durability as a factor behind United’s desire to acquire his services.
Woolford said: “He (Adkins) knows how to get people working hard. But he does it in a way where you like and respect him. Some managers go for the scary approach and demand respect that way.
“He doesn’t. He man-manages well but, because he’s a nice guy, you also want to do well for him in that respect too.”
“I’ve had a few years where I was fighting relegation,” Woolford added. “Where seeing fourth from bottom as a successful season and I don’t want to be doing that again, I want to be fighting at the top.
“We want to get promotion here and have some successful times. To push on and get to where this club should be.
“Going up is what everyone is looking at and, this club in the Championship, you know if we get there it’s capable of being at the right end again.
“This is a step-up for me.”