Michael Woods ‘excited’ for Town start after turning down pro deals

Michael Woods in action

Michael Woods in action

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Rejuvenated midfielder Michael Woods says he stayed at Harrogate Town instead of joining a professional team so he could continue to enjoy playing.

Woods joined Town at the back end of last season and impressed in his 12 outings for the club.

Several clubs from the Football League offered him contracts but he chose to stay loyal to Town.

Woods said: “The phone was quite hot after we finished the season. I was quite surprised after being out for so long on and only just getting into double figures of games.

“Having spoken to Macca (assistant manager John McDermott), the gaffer and the chairman, I thought it was right to stay rather than go somewhere where it was uncertain.

“It wasn’t a case of going anywhere for money. I want to get my head down and enjoy my football again.

“I want to get some games under my CV.”

The former Chelsea and Leeds United academy player has endured an injury-ravaged career and is looking forward to finally starting a season fresh.

Town have announced pre-season friendly clashes against Premier League clubs Hull City and Sunderland as well as Championship sides Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers.

The midfielder wants the fixtures to boost the club’s crowd as well as helping him reach peak fitness.

He said: “It will be nice to try and stay injury free and be fully fit for the first time in a while. Hopefully after pre season I will be at that level where I can show people what I am capable of.”

Woods has been impressed with Weaver’s summer recruits and says he is excited to start pre-season training with the new additions.

“We didn’t score enough goals at the end of the season,” he said.

“The gaffer’s added that ruthless edge. We hardly scored goals from set pieces and we have three or four new six foot three guys.

“With the additions that we have had and the pitch improvement I am confident that we can have a good season.”

The 23-year-old is backing CNG outfit to push for promotion next year but he reckons, with Stockport County and AFC Telford dropping into the league, it could be a tough task.

He added: “The gaffer is putting together a squad that will be right up there. I know I am going to have to play well to stay in the team.

“If I can get a good pre season under my belt I can do more than enough in this league.

“I want to play at the highest level possible but I am not thinking about transfers.

“My main aim is with Harrogate and making sure I am doing well and the team’s doing well.”