Chris Basham has explained why he rejected the chance to play Championship football next season in order to force through his move to Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
The former Blackpool midfielder, who joined Sheffield United earlier this week, told The Star that Nigel Clough’s management style and success since taking charge convinced him the League One club boast better long-term prospects than many teams presently above them in the footballing pyramid.
“Basically, once I’d spoken with the gaffer that was it,” Basham said. “My mind was made up.
“There was a lot of interest in me a division higher but I’m not just thinking about the 12 months coming-up. I’m looking long-term as well.
“When you look at the facilities here and the plans that he (Clough) has got with regards to the players he’s looking to come in, well, it speaks for itself really.
“Everyone in the game speaks so highly of him and, together with the rest of his staff, they just immediately made the place feel like home.”
Basham, aged 25, commanded a £1.2m transfer fee when he swapped Bolton Wanderers for Bloomfield Road four years ago. Having started his career at Newcastle, Basham acknowledged that glowing testimonies from the likes of Bob Harris and Matt Hill, who was recently released by United, also influenced his decision to sign a three year contract with Clough’s side.
“I know Bob and Mark (Howard) here from Blackpool,” Basham continued. “Matt as well and they all had really good things to say.
“Look at Bob for example. He didn’t play as much as he should have done there but, after coming here, he’s really kicked-on and shown what a talent he is.”
Although Clough has yet to confirm exactly where his latest acquisition will feature when the 2014/15 campaign begins on August 9, Basham outlined the qualities he plans to bring irrespective of his role.
“I’m a winner, I like to try and bring momentum, strength and endeavour,” Basham said. “Encouragement for others as well which I think is important.
“At Newcastle, if you didn’t work hard then you were out the door. At Bolton, under Sam Allardyce, if you didn’t work hard then you were out of the door and the same goes for a few of the other managers I’ve played for as well.
“I know that Nigel Clough isn’t any different and that’s something I respect. One thing I always do is give everything because that’s how I’ve been brought up.”