A preview of an interview with former Hornet Joel Grant which will appear in the Bristol City programme on Tuesday
FORMER Watford forward Joel Grant held talks with Ipswich Town over the summer about a potential move, but was sold by Championship new-boys Yeovil Town’s enthusiasm.
The 26 year-old’s contract at League Two side Wycombe Wanderers was up, and after an impressive two seasons in Buckinghamshire, the allure of the Glovers was too much to turn down.
‘I actually went to the Play-Off Final [win over Brentford] and when I saw them win it, particularly in the way they won it, I felt that I could see myself going to a team that would be underdogs, but I felt that I`d be going to a team where I`d get an opportunity to play and to improve my all-round game,’ enthuses Grant.
‘Meeting up with Gary Johnson and his work ethic and his thoughts on football in general, I felt like they would give me an opportunity to showcase myself, but it wouldn`t be an easy one. It might seem like I picked an easy option going to Yeovil because I was going to play, but they let me know it was going to be a tough one,’ Grant explains.
Grant spent two successful seasons with the Chairboys between 2011 and 2013, where he initially linked up with his former Aldershot boss, Gary Waddock.
‘At Wycombe I was with Gary and then unfortunately, Gary left the following season and Gareth Ainsworth took over.
‘Gareth was a player who was playing [at the time] and he was fantastic with me as well and with him being a winger, he helped me even more. He tried to help me with my weaknesses, so for example my defending, which made me a bit more of a rounded player, so he was a big part of my career as well,’ says Grant.
Grant also cites his former Crewe manager Gudjon Thordarson as a big influence on him, though his time with the Railwaymen ended on a sour note.
‘As a player there`s always stuff you`ve got to work on and I`m the first to admit when I look at myself if I`ve not done well and what I can do better, but it just seemed to be things I had no control over,’ muses Grant.
‘I was always being told how good I was and how much potential I have, the criticism was ‘When you reach your full potential, what a player you will be.` I always used to feel that ‘How do you reach your full potential when you don`t play week-in, week-out?` I always felt, not hard done-by, but that I could reach my full potential, but I had to find a way to stay in a team and not be the player that`s in and out of a team.
‘The first thing I looked at was how consistent I could be: could I always be creating or scoring a goal which gives the manager no chance to leave me out?
It’s that kind of application and work ethic that has seen the Jamaican youth international return to the Championship just six years after his Vicarage Road release.
REMEMBER! This is just a preview of an interview which will appear in the Bristol City programme on Tuesday Make sure to buy a copy for the full programme.