Woolfenden: Our aim is to win the league
Town defender, Luke Woolfenden, has said fhat Towns aim is simple, to win the league.
The former East Bergholt High School pupil has been reflecting on Towns tour of Germany: “It’s been good,” the 20-year-old said. “Obviously there’s not much to do [at the hotel] so it’s been tight-knit really, there’s no wifi out there so you’re forced to speak to each other!
“Yes, it’s been enjoyable. We’ve got a lot of work in which will benefit us when we start the season.”
When asked if the trip has made team closer as a group he replied: “I think we’re a closer team. At the start of pre-season there are always so many little mistakes and a bit of rustiness coming in.
“That’s what pre-season games are for, getting the mistakes out, getting the rustiness out, then when the season begins to start with a bang.”
Woolfenden was involved last pre-season under Paul Hurst, there has been a notable difference between the two: “I don’t think there’s been as much running, I’d say disguised running really, a lot of little games,”
“So instead of running we’ve been playing games which will get you just as fit as straight line running. It’s been different but it’s still been hard.”
He says the new boys have settled in well, especially James Norwood, who has taken to Instagram several times throughout the tour, most notably falling off his bike!
“Nors has settled in very well and scored today. He’s settled in with the lads quickly and I think he’ll be a big player for us this season,” he said.
“As you saw today he can finish, he had one chance and scored and should have had a penalty,” he continued
“He’s a handful up there, so that was probably what they were missing last year, an out and out goalscorer. Hopefully he can carry on scoring as he did today during the season.”
He added: “He is a handful. We were defending crosses the other day and nine times out of 10 they were landing on his head so he is a handful.”
Woolfenden spent last season on loan at Swindon where he made 36 starts and scored two goals and says he benefited from the experience: “It has improved me as a player. I got a lot of games down in that league so hopefully it’ll stand me in good stead when the season comes and I can get a place in the starting XI here.”
Woolfenden now wants to use the experience gained from last season and take that into this season with Town.
“Definitely, I want to play every game, that’s my hope, aim or whatever, that’s what I want to do, play every week,” he said.
“I don’t really want to go out on loan again, I want to be playing every week so we’ll see what happens.”
Last season, he played the opening game of the season at full back for Town, but Woolfenden is clear with where he sees himself long term.
“I prefer centre-half. Obviously I play right-back and at centre-back but centre-back’s where I see myself,” he continued.
Town boss, Paul Lambert, has already spoken to Woolfenden about what he wants from him: “He’s just said it’s down to me really. If I play well enough then, he said age isn’t a problem, so if I play well enough then I should play.”
Woolfenden at the moment is seemingly fighting with Corrie Ndaba to partner Toto Nsiala, as skipper Luke Chambers is suspended for the Burton game following his red card in the final game of last season against Leeds.
“Skip has always been important to the starting XI but if he’s missing the first game someone’s got to play in the centre of the defence now, hopefully that will be my and if it is then I’ve just got to play well enough to keep my place in the team,” he added.
Looking forward to the season proper, Woolfenden has no doubts about that Town should be targeting an immediate return to the Championship.
“Yes, definitely,” he insisted. “Our aim is to win the league, no doubt about it, straight back in the Championship where I think, at the minimum, we belong.
“It’s a big club, it’s a big stadium and I think with the players we’ve got, if we put it all together and it all comes together then I think we should go up.”