PAUL Bastock is not coming to Worksop Town to see out his final years in football at a more comfortable level – he wants to push for promotion.
The experienced keeper, 42, was released by Boston United in the Conference North at the end of the season.
And after two weeks of negotiations, agreed to join Simon Clark’s new-look squad at Sandy Lane.
The Boston legend, who made nearly 700 appearances for the Pilgrims, insists his new club will be at the top end of the league while his former club will be struggling.
Speaking to the Guardian the day after agreeing a deal with Worksop, he said: “The team will be pushing for something, Simon sold the club to me really well and I’ve got mates in the team so it was a no brainer.”
“Leaving Boston was a blessing, Boston fans will have seen my last season with them as a good season – I had plenty of Man of the Match awards and good memories.”
“With Worksop we’re going to be going for success, but I don’t feel Boston will be in any way, shape or form competing at the top end, I think they’ll be competing to stay in the division.”
“No one wants to go into a season where it looks like you’ll be struggling.”
The Evo-Stik Premier will be the lowest level Bastock has played at, after a career with clubs like Cambridge, Boston, Kettering, St Albans City and Rushden & Diamonds.
While his age may raise a few eyebrows in the club’s fanbase, he hasn’t lost any of the confidence that has made him a fan favourite in Lincolnshire.
“I’ve got the face of a 42-year-old and the body of a 32-year-old,” he said.
“I’m in good nick, and keepers like Kevin Poole and David James are a similar age – as long as you manage your body well you’re fine.”
“I don’t see that I’ve got any flaws, I’m still quick off my line. I had three managers from Conference level ringing me up at the end of the season asking about the situation at Boston.”
“I’m still brimming with confidence.”
That confidence and his colourful nature will make him a big character in the Tigers dressing room next season – something he feels will help the team on the pitch.
He said: “I think football is losing a lot of its characters, but if you have them in the dressing room you get a team spirit.”
“Simon and I are signing from the same hymn sheet. If you enjoy your football you’re going to do well so hopefully there will be plenty of banter.”
Bastock took advice from pals Lee Beeson and Ryan Clarke before agreeing to move to Sandy Lane, and the signing of high profile players like Leon Mettam also played a part in his decision.
“I’ve spoken to Lee and Clarkey and there are good teams in the league like FC United of Manchester, but Worksop have signed Metts – it’s a statement of their intent.”
“They’re not just getting players in from lower levels, they’re bringing in experience and quality.”
“The chairman wants to progress the club and hopefully we’ll be up there.”