INTERVIEW | Charlie Wakefield: "We want to get promoted"
New Stones winger Charlie Wakefield made his National League debut for the club on Tuesday at Yeovil Town, we spoke to the former Chelsea and Coventry City player ahead of Saturday’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge, live on BT Sport.
On making his debut: “Yeah it was great. It was really nice to play competitive football because it’s been such a long time. I’ve got on with the lads really well and settled in quickly, I love the way the team play and I can add my strengths to what we want to do.”
“Everyone has added their bit to help me settle in and feel really welcome. Obviously there’s different friendship groups within the team but on a whole, everyone’s really close.”
22-year-old Wakefield assessed his last season at League One champions Coventry City, which was disrupted by injury.
“I had a couple of hamstring injuries last season so on a personal note, it wasn’t a great season for me. It was a great season for Coventry getting promoted and it was a great group of lads, I’m pleased for them as they deserved to go up. I wish I could have participated more but that’s football sometimes, I’m past all of that now, I’m here to focus on myself and what I can add to this team.”
Stones fans would have seen a glimpse of Wakefield’s game on Tuesday night and he analysed what he can bring to the Wealdstone side.
“I’m a very direct winger, you’ll see one-on-ones and end product from me. There are loads of different types of wingers but I’m very quick and I use that to my advantage. I like to dribble at the full-back and beat them down the outside, when I’m playing on the right-wing I try to deliver good crosses for assists and goals for the team.
“I can move the ball from one end of the pitch to the other very quickly. There’s not many players like myself blessed with real pace and I’m gifted in that aspect so it’s about using it in the right way, which I feel I can.”
On his individual goals this season: “I’ve had my injuries in the past, so the first goal is to get a good run of games. I want to play as many games as I can this season for the club. Then for me, it’s all about getting assists and scoring goals for this team.
“We are a technically gifted team with fighters in the midfield that aren’t afraid to get into a midfield battle, National League games can become a war in the middle and we have the players to deal with that. The first thing I think about this side is excitement and there’s high quality players in every position of our squad.
“We’ve just come up from the National League South so we won’t be in the discussion for promotion this year and I’m looking forward to proving a lot of teams wrong and showing teams what we’re all about. We showed that in the first half at Yeovil and it was great to see us play the way Dean [Brennan] wants us to play.”
Wakefield on Dagenham and being live on National TV: “I’m feeling positive going into it, we’re a positive side so we’ll go and attack the game. It’s live on BT Sport, so it’s a great opportunity for us to show what we can do as a team and as a club.
“We’re going to go there to win, we want to get promoted this year and Dean [Brennan] reminds us that in every session, that’s our aim and I believe we can. It’s a great opportunity for everyone into the club and I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Interview by Dec O'Reilly