We begin our countdown to Hemsworth – ‘Action All Areas’ – our special 360-degree Bootiful Game feature – at the Yorkshire NuBuilds Stadium this Saturday with a chat with Athersley Recreation striker Chris Wood.
Sheerien Park is the latest stop in a long and distinguished career for the front man, who signed for the Penguins on October 3rd, opening his account after just 18 minutes of his debut, and has added two more strikes since, including Athersley’s second in a fine 2-0 win at Liversedge last Saturday – a three-point haul which takes his new side up to twelfth in the Premier Division, writes Colin Muncie.
Chris agrees that he has settled in well at Athersley. ”Yes, it’s been good,” he told TBG. “I’ve really enjoyed it so far, they are a really good set of lads. We have picked up some good results despite playing nearly every game away – and it’s also been a nice bonus to get some goals, too.”
Asked for a whistle-stop summary of his playing career so far, Chris reels off an impressive list of former clubs. ”I have played with Buxton, Glapwell, Belper, Ossett, Frickley, Pontefract, Hallam and Parkgate,” he recounted. “I’ve played a lot in the Evo Stik Premier and North Divisions at several different clubs – and then in the North East Counties League too.”
Chris, runs a successful sports coaching company working in Primary Schools, has a few favourite memories from his career so far. “I won the Sheffield Senior Cup – twice – with Frickley, I got to the Play-Off Final with Glapwell, and I felt I had productive seasons with Ossett Town and a promotion season with Pontefract.“
The striker doesn’t have to think too long when asked about the low point of his career. ”Relegation with Parkgate last season,” he snaps back. Chris joined up at Green Lane at the turn of the year with the club already in deep trouble. His debut coincided with a fine come-from-behind win over Bridlington Town, but high points were few and far between thereafter.
Chris moved onto Billy Fox’s Coaching Staff at Roundwood at the start of this season, and so it seemed logical to ask him about his own ambitions when his playing career comes to an end. “I’d like to go into management eventually,” Chris acknowledged, “but not until I’ve completely finished playing myself. I want to play for as long as I possibly can.”
We asked the Athersley target man about Saturday’s ‘Action All Areas’ clash at near- neighbours Hemsworth Miners Welfare. He’s expecting a battle, but he feels that he and his colleagues will be giving as good as they get.
“It’s always tough going to Hemsworth – and this time will be as tough as ever,” Chris admitted. “They’re very good collectively and have some great individuals too.”
“However, we work very hard for each other and all put a shift in,” Chris warned.
“We have the capability to beat anyone in this League on our day.”
The Bootiful Game would like to thank Chris for his generous contribution to this piece, and we look forward to seeing him on Saturday at @Hemsworth-Action All Areas.