When pressed by our Media and Communications manager Grant Morris, about all the transfer speculation in regards to our Academy skipper and England College Captain Ben Goodliffe. Wood Chairman Danny Hunter said ” Yes there has been a whole host of interest in young Ben for quite a while now. In truth when a 17 year old puts in the type of performances that he has in recent weeks. Against good sides like Sutton United in our 5-0 Trophy win and in the away games at title challengers Forest Green and Tranmere Rovers. Then its bound to get the watching scouts and pro managers excited and quite rightly so.
“In truth we have already turned down an offer to take Ben to Colchester United and are thankful and respectful of that offer. But we’ve also had six other enquiries, three of those are from Championship clubs and we’ve even had one from a Premier League club.
“What’s important Is that I do what’s right for both Ben and this football club. If you know me, you’ll know I’m not one to rush to make the wrong decision, especially with our Academy players. Ben still has around 12 weeks left to finish off his education here at the club. He will then have the rest of his life to fulfil his ambition to be a top professional footballer but an education safeguard to fall back on, is never a bad idea.
I will alongside his first team manager Luke Garrard, his Academy manager Cameron Mawer and with the agreement of his family, guide and advise the player in the appropriate way to do what’s right for him. In truth Ben will get his move perhaps sooner rather than later. But it’s important that things aren’t rushed and that the club chosen, will be the one that offers him the best opportunity to progress, to develop and to flourish in a caring professional environment and not the one that necessarily offers me the most money.
“I personally think, that Ben is the best 17 year old centre half in the country, who is currently plying his trade outside the pro game. He’s 6ft 2”, he’s still growing, he’s as brave as a lion, he can head it, he can kick it and he’s even got a passing range. He’s gone and scored close to 40 goals in our Academy this season. He’s also respectful, a real team player and a natural leader.
Those qualities have been more than demonstrated in his progress through our ranks in the last two years and his recent performances at National League level. Those performances are a credit to him, our managers, his coaches and this clubs infra structure. Hunter concluded.