New signing Marc Bircham has admitted that he had a long list of clubs he could have signed for when he was mulling over where to take his career next. The former Queen's Park Rangers man could have signed a contract with many other clubs, including AFC Bournemouth, his local side Luton Town and former Premiership giants Leeds United. Yet he told BBC Somerset Sound that he rejected that trio to sign for the Glovers after being impressed with what the manager to say, despite Luton being the easier option:
"I spoke to a few clubs and it was a big decision because Luton came in at the last minute and they are just round the corner from me. They train only 10 minutes from here. So it was a big decision, but I was really impressed with Russell, really impressed with the club and they did really well last year and I think that they can kick on and get to the next level. I've got promoted from this division twice, so hopefully it will be third time lucky as well."
Bircham has been promoted from this level of football with both Millwall and QPR and said that his arrival at Yeovil Town was very similar to a situation he encountered at Loftus Road, where Rangers had to pick themselves up after the disappointment of a play-off final defeat:
"It is very similar to my first year at QPR where we got to the play-off final and we lost to Cardiff. It was very important that we went out and won it next year, so we didn't have a play-off hangover. The lads are in good spirits and so if we can start well then that will be a major thing for us."
The Glovers are fast becoming 'QPR Old Boys' with Bircham the third such player to sign up with the club in the past 12 months but those were not the only two faces that he recognised:
"Matty Rose and Terrell, I obviously know. I've known Lloyd (Owusu) because we've played in the same area in London so I've known him for a good few years. I've played against Stewie (Marcus Stewart) as well, so there are a few familiar faces."
The midfielder has been a high profile player since dying his hair various shares, in particular the blue and white hoops to reflect his club colours whilst at Rangers, and he explained the background to that and why he got rid of it:
"That was at QPR, and it all started off with a bet between myself and Kevin Gallen. Then the manager asked me to get rid of it because it was getting a bit too much attention and I was getting too many bookings. So I got rid of it, but then I started getting letters and petitions from fans saying that their kids had dyed their hair, but then I'd changed it and they didn't know what to do. So I kept on adding back in little bits and little more bits throughout the season and then I started to see it as a 'lucky' thing. In the end I had so many different styles. I got sponsored with it for two years, so that was quite good! Then my brother got married and I was the best man, and so I had to change it all for the pictures and I just felt that it was nice being normal again."
Marc is also a Canadian full international, with 17 caps and one goal to his name, although he doesn't expect that to be a problem with Yeovil Town as he doesn't have immediate plans to play again for the country that he qualified for through his grandfather:
"I've sort of retired from Canada, because it was a lot of travelling. Especially with me having a family I was missing a lot of the summer holidays. We were only getting six weeks off, but I was away for three of those with Canada. We weren't really going to win the World Cup, so I've just put that on the back burner. I'd never say never though, so you never know I could go back and play for them."
Manager Russell Slade was obviously delighted to have got hold of a new midfielder so quickly after seeing two of last season's squad leave late last week:
"He is a great signing for us. He's been there, seen it, done it. He has just turned 29 years old, so there is plenty left in him and he has got plenty to prove and he wants to prove that he is still a very good player."
Russell also added that he considered the recruitment of Bircham to be a benefit to the squad in terms of the overall experience it would give the club:
"There is a little bit more experience in the side and that little bit more maturity that it will give us, with the likes of Marcus Stewart, Nathan Jones, Skivo and Mildy. We are becoming a very mature side. Marc gives us tremendous experience. He is a very enthusiastic player. He loves the game, loves playing and can be a thorn in the side of the opposition. He will give us that maturity and that little bit of savvy in midfield. He will be a good recruit for us."
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