Former Grimsby Town goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall has said that it did not take too much persuasion to convince him that he should be joining Yeovil Town. As soon as the 28 year old spoke to current manager Russell Slade, he knew where he would be playing next season, despite having 13 clubs chasing him this summer, including Bristol Rovers, Swindon Town, Shrewsbury Town and of course the Mariners themselves.
Mildenhall worked under Slade last season and speaking to BBC Radio Bristol he explained: "As soon as I knew that the gaffer was interested and wanted to bring me there, we had a long conversation and he explained to me everything about the club and it wasn't too hard a decision to make. I said to him there and then on the phone that I give you my word that I'll join you. Obviously I was talking to a few other clubs and I had to let a few other people down. I know what the gaffer is like. I have worked with him and he did well last year and I was more than happy to follow him."
Steve explained that numerous factors affected his decision to leave Grimsby - the arrival of Russell Slade at Huish Park was one, but also the lure of League One football and the ability to get closer to his home town of Swindon were also important factors. Steve also cited the progress the Glovers have made over the past five years.
"I wanted to get back into League One," Steve explained. "That was a big pull. I wanted to get back up a division. Last year was the first year that I had played in League Two. I wanted to get closer to home as well. I am getting married next year and wanted to start a family. Myself and my other half had discussed the situation and because we live in Swindon and we'd been away for nearly six years, we decided that we wanted to move to somewhere closer. It is a four hour drive from Grimsby. And so that, coupled with how well Yeovil have done in the past few years - it's a club going forward that is now in League One - it was an easy decision for me to make once I knew that the gaffer was interested."
Steve also admitted that Bristol Rovers were one of those chasing him to sign a contract: "Yes, they were. I had spoken to them. Obviously as well, it was an ideal situation because it was right on my doorstep. But after going through it all, I decided that the best club for me to go to was Yeovil Town."
With Steve Collis having departed for Southend United and Chris Weale likely to move to Bristol City, Steve's main competition will come from new arrival Darren Behcet, who was signed from West Ham United. But despite Steve having the upper hand in terms of age and experience, he is not going to take for granted a first team place.
"No, I have been given no guarantees," he explained. "I know what the gaffer is like. He's not the sort of person to come in and say that you are definitely going to play in every game no-one can guarantee anybody anything like that. You don't know how people are going to play and you don't know how your form is going to go. I wouldn't ask that of him anyway. All I know is that I'm coming here with other keepers who are at the club and my aim is just to work hard, add competition for places, but to do everything that I possibly can to make sure that I am in the first team."
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