Sport Soccer

Monday 22 September 2014

Butland: Stoke was the right move

Published 24/03/2013 | 09:31

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Jack Butland signed for Stoke in January

Jack Butland admits seeing other players lose their way helped in his decision to turn down Chelsea in favour of Stoke.

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The highly-rated Birmingham goalkeeper has enjoyed an incredible year, going from a loan spell at npower League Two side Cheltenham to earning his first cap for the England senior team. The 20-year-old also represented Great Britain at London 2012 and impressed a number of top clubs, including Champions League holders Chelsea.

Butland, though, rejected the west Londoners overtures in favour of a move to Stoke, who he will link up with after ending the season with Birmingham. Asked if it was a difficult decision to make, the youngster said: "It was and it wasn't. Chelsea is a fantastic club, it would attract any player and it certainly attracted me."

He added: "It is a fantastic place to play and they are the current Champions League winners. They are the European champions.

"But Stoke are a fantastic club for different reasons and somewhere I feel I can better develop my game at the minute. It is as simple as that.

"Chelsea didn't do anything wrong, I just didn't feel it was the right move for me and felt Stoke was.

"It was a very, very important decision to make about when and where to move. It took a lot of thinking and unfortunately Birmingham were in the position they were.

"I have been there for a long time, learned a lot there. I've had my spells in League Two and my taste of the Championship - but I feel that if I really want to push Joe Hart and the senior keepers for the senior spot then I need to be playing Premier League football.

"I feel capable of doing it and feel capable of doing it with Stoke. It is a very good set-up there.

"The goalie coach is very good and I am very pleased I've made that move and at this time. I am really at ease with the decision and really looking forward to it."

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