Being part of the project was the main pull for Michael Doughty as he signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2022.
Doughty finished 2018/19 as the team’s top scorer and had opportunities to move away but stated that, after talking to boss Richie Wellens, he wanted to commit his future and his efforts to the fight for promotion.
“I spoke to the Manager at the end of last season and he was keen to extend my stay and so was I.
“When you’re going into the last year of your deal, there’s always that which can hinder your progress – thinking selfishly about where you’re going to be. I really wanted to be a part of this project and be a part of what he (Richie Wellens) is doing here.
“I could see the progress that was happening. Ultimately, my career has had a number of clubs and this is the one club I’ve felt very connected to and managed to produce my best football so I thought it was the best thing for me to show my intent and I wanted to be a part of the club’s future and success.”
“I think for me it was more that when I came here last year, I came here with the aim of getting the team promoted – I obviously have a good relationship with everyone here, including the fans but we fell short last year.
“I didn’t want it to be another case of having a year left in my contract – what’s happening, where am I going to be? I just want to be fully focussed on the goal and that is to get up the leagues.”
Doughty has noticed a change in the club’s engagement with the community and his relationship with the fans was a key factor in staying.
“There were opportunities in the summer for me to speak potentially to League One teams but this is a one-club Town and if we can get it right here then there’s a huge opportunity. With the manager we have now, and his support staff, everything feels like it’s a moving in the right direction.
“The fans were a huge part of me staying – I’ve always had a great reception and a real connection with them. This year, as a team, we’re trying to make a real effort to engage more and the manager has stressed that quite a lot.”