Earlier this week it was announced that prolific striker Ben Whitehead would be leaving the Corinium Stadium for Southern Premier side Weston-super-Mare and the departing forward has spoke to Severn Sport about the move.
Whitehead joins the relegated Seagulls after Weston named former Forest Green Rovers Academy boss Scott Bartlett as manager ahead of a crucial season for the club and Whitehead said the club’s ambition was a key factor in his move.
“After speaking with Scott and hearing the aspirations they have at Weston for this season and beyond, it was something I wanted to be involved in.
The way they want to go about things over the next few years is something I felt would improve my game further and the chance to play and prove myself at a higher level was something I couldn’t turn down.
I felt at this moment Weston was the best choice for me to continue my progression with a new group of players and at such a big club, to help them get back to where they want to be.” Whitehead said.
Whitehead leaves Charlie Griffin’s side after two seasons at the club and after catching the eye with two seasons full of goals, including 31 league goals this season, Whitehead has praised his teammates for a fruitful two years at the Corinium Stadium.
Despite helping to fire Cirencester Town into the play-offs this season, Whitehead missed the end of the season due to a knee injury, but he looks back on his time at the Centurions as a great achievement.
“It was gutting to pick up the injury at that time of the season, especially with how everything ended up. But the knee feels great now and I can’t wait to get going in pre-season.
It was a brilliant two years at Cirencester, full of so many great moments. Just being part of that club has been so enjoyable. The 16 game unbeaten run we went on at the end of the of 17/18 season when we were in the bottom four in November to just missing out on the play-offs by goal difference was some turn around.
Then last year finishing 2nd in a tough league was a big achievement too. I think the two years as a whole has been a standout as we achieved a lot in that time.” Whitehead added.
Throughout the last couple of seasons, Whitehead has been linked with moves to clubs higher up the football pyramid – including Gloucester City and Forest Green Rovers and question marks have been thrown out wondering whether Whitehead can produce at a higher level. And the forward believes he can prove those doubters wrong once he gets going at the Seagulls.
“There’s always going to be a bit of pressure wherever you go as a player. That just comes naturally. As a striker you get judged by most people on the amount of goals you score and that’s something I’ve had to deal with before and it’s no different this time.
The best way to answer the pressure is to produce performances, do my jobs within the team and by scoring goals. Which I am confident I will do along with the team that Scott is putting together here at Weston.”
Whitehead ended by thanking Cirencester Town as a club, the fans and the coaches after an incredible two years.
“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved within the club. The chairmen, the supporters who are there week in week out. Team mates who are a great bunch of lads and a joy to play alongside and my strike partner Alan who I can’t not mention, as we worked so well together, bounced off each other from the start and formed a great partnership.
Then Charlie and Jonah who have been brilliant with me and improved my game massively from when I first signed which has helped me now move onto Weston. It was a brilliant club to play for and I can’t thank them all enough for what they have done for me over the last two years and will always look back on the fond memories made there and I wish everyone at the club all the best for next season and the future.”
*Cover photo from Weston-super-Mare’s Twitter account. Follow @WSM_AFCOfficial for all the latest news from the club.*