TIGERS have signed a ‘natual born winner’ in Stuart Ludlam – who clearly lacks nothing in the way of confidence.
The self assured defender, who can feature in the middle of the back four or at full-back, is expected to play right-back for Worksop Town after signing from local rivals Frickley Athletic.
Speaking to the Guardian a fortnight before the start of pre-season training, ‘Luds’ insisted he was coming to Sandy Lane to join a winning team.
In his own words he’s an ‘honest’ player, and he admits he didn’t snatch Simon Clark’s hand off when the Tigers boss first made him an offer – which perhaps signals his ambitious nature.
“I had a number of clubs interested so I wanted to weigh up my options,” he said.
“I had a meeting with Simon Clark and he was very positive about the up coming season.”
“He said that in terms of last season he was left with a number of players who technically weren’t his players, they were signed before he came, and he was wanting to bring in a few players for a new team.”
“The ambitions of the club seem right up my street compared with the last couple of years, playing in average sides.”
“My last few clubs haven’t met my expectations.”
Former Worksop boss Peter Rinkcavage took Ludlam to Frickley last summer and gave him the skipper’s armband.
While the season didn’t pan out how he’d hoped, the right-back believes he gave his all for the Yorkshire club.
“Last season I went to Frickley from Stocksbridge because we had finished midtable and I was told there was ambition at Frickley.”
“It took a while to get going at Frickley, but eventually we pushed on and got to 12th in the table.”
“I got on well with the manager and he made me captain, I picked up a couple of awards, the consistency was there.”
“But off field matters put quite a strain on the club, players weren’t always happy and that showed in performances.”
And he clearly isn’t short of self belief.
The 26-year-old added: “I’m an honest player, I give 100 per cent week in and week out and I try to be a leader on the pitch.”
I’m a natural born winner, that’s why I was captain at Frickley.”
“I said to Simon that I’m 26 now and coming into my prime years, so I want to be at a club where I can settle in, a club with ambition to play higher. That’s what I want, to play at a higher level.”
Tigers fans may remember Ludlam’s robust performances against their side in the colours of Stocksbridge and Frickley, when he showed that he isn’t afraid to ‘get involved’.
“I don’t mind the physical side of the game, it’s part and parcel. In the modern game it’s getting stamped out more and more which is a shame.”
“We don’t want to see two footed tackles but the physical side is part of the English game.”
The new man was impressed with the threat Tigers posed against Frickley last term and hopes to see more of the same when they kick off in August.
Along with stating he was impressed with the experience of fellow new signings Chris Shaw, Paul Bastock and Leon Mettam, former Rotherham United prospect Ludlam said: “Last season we had three games against Worksop and we held our own, but attack wise Worksop had more.”
“I’m looking forward to playing in a good attacking side, we spent a lot of last season defending.”
“Worksop, to me, have always been a nearly side. They’ve always had a handful of really good players. On paper they’ve looked good but never seemed to produce.”
“But the signings they’ve been making all seem to be very good and I’m raring to go again.”
“I love the game and can’t wait to get started.”