Keenleyside hoping ‘strong bond’ between Welwyn Garden City players can lift them up the table
PUBLISHED: 06:40 21 June 2019
Welwyn Garden City skipper David Keenleyside said the positive feeling in the changing room was just one of the many reasons to keep him at Herns Lane.
The talented midfielder had plenty of potential suitors come calling too but the feeling of togetherness at the Southern League Division One Central club was too much to abandon.
He said: "I did have a think about it as I had a few offers from elsewhere in similar leagues.
"But the core of the group form last year that stayed and helped us escape relegation was the main reason I stayed.
"We've developed a good friendship and we enjoy each other's company and playing and working for each other.
"I didn't know Jon [Sexton] until I came to Welwyn Garden City, I didn't know Jesse [Walklin] until he came in later but we've got to know each other really well.
"There's a strong bond between about four or five of us and hopefully we can build around that and create a good atmosphere.
"And at 27-year-old I want that as part of my Saturday now, not just the travelling and the playing but enjoying it too.
"I don't want to be one jumping clubs left, right and centre so I've stuck with Welwyn and see what happens."
Another reason was new manager Nick Ironton who Keenleyside is looking forward to working under.
"I want to give Nicky a chance too," he admitted. "I've heard really good things about him, that he's a good manager, he knows a few players and his sessions are really good.
"I've never played for him but he's won the Conference as a player and he's gone up as a manager to the Conference South so he's obviously been about.
"Any new manager deserves a chance to build around players who want to stay and are loyal.
"I'm ready to go."
Keenleyside also admits that being captain of the Citizens last season and experiencing all the challenges that the previous campaign brought was enjoyable.
He said: "I loved the fact that people didn't think we'd do well, loved the fact we were fighting against relegation and I took a bit of a different role with my game. I started to play a little more aggressively and a bit more of a midfielder who gets about a bit.
"The armband spurs you on and I hope to lead by example to any youngsters who come in.
"Hopefully these lads can stick with us and we can do really well this year."