Family values prompt Wooden’s switch to Royals

Dan Wooden takes a penalty for Moneyfields. Picture: Neil Marshall (170104-05)
Dan Wooden takes a penalty for Moneyfields. Picture: Neil Marshall (170104-05)
Rowan Vine is back at Gosport Borough. Picture: Ally Mac Photography

Bell buoyed as Gosport Borough turn to Vine

Horndean boss Michael Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall (171151-43)

Birmingham: Horndean can cope with hectic finale

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Dan Wooden is happy to stay local after making the switch from Moneyfields to AFC Portchester this week.

While it means dropping down a level from the Southern League to the Wessex League, the attacker believes it is the right decision for him.

Personal reasons, including a change of job, also played a part in Wooden leaving Dover Road.

For the time being, though, the ex-Gosport Borough forward is happy not doing the extra travelling involved at the higher level.

‘I changed my job and that is one of the reasons I had to leave Moneyfields,’ said Wooden.

‘Now I am working for Jobwise in Alresford and that makes it difficult to get back for midweek away games.

‘Some of the travelling was getting a bit much.

‘My little boy, Marley, is 15 months old and these are important years seeing him grow up.

‘At the moment, playing at Portchester works for us as a family.

‘We live in Portsmouth, so it is only 10 minutes away.’

As soon as Royals joint-manager Mick Catlin heard Wooden might be available he got in touch.

There were a couple of other clubs interested but the player was quick to make his mind up.

He was impressed with the ambition and progress made at AFC Portchester.

‘It genuinely surprised me how much they have done at the club,’ said Wooden.

‘They have done well to achieve what they have in a short space of time.

‘The set up is better than when I was with Gosport in National League South.

‘They can easily move up to the next level.

‘I am only pleased to be involved in trying to help them achieve that, whether this season or next.’

Wooden was hoping to make his Royals debut this weekend before the weather intervened.

All Wessex League games were postponed on Friday because of the snow.

If the weather relents, he will face a baptism of fire on Tuesday in the derby against Horndean (7.45pm).

On Saturday, the Royals travel to second-placed Blackfield & Langley.