Former Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Chris Wood says that his move to the south coast towards the end of 2010 from West Bromwich Albion was an ideal one during that stage of his career.
The New Zealand forward made the switch to the Withdean Stadium before notching nine times in a title-winning campaign for the Seagulls, and he reflected on a successful season for both himself and the club as a whole.
He said, “I enjoyed it and it was a good time to be involved with the club because of the league title we won and everything that goes with that.
“It was a good group of lads and I was young at the time – I went to the Championship and moved to Barnsley but for one reason or another it just didn’t work out.
“Then once I decided to come and join the club’s journey, it seemed to be the perfect move for everyone involved and scoring on my debut did me a lot of good.
“It was just a great season in general – winning the league at the end of it just topped it all off. We never really thought about it too much until April when we were clear, but we saw it out well and did a really good job in making sure we got over the line.”
The side’s strike force also consisted of Glenn Murray and Ashley Barnes during the 2010/11 campaign – the trio found the net 42 times between them and coincidently all now find themselves plying their trade in the Premier League.
Barnes will of course be on the opposing side when Burnley visit the Amex Stadium this weekend, but Wood talked highly of the benefits to be had from playing regularly throughout England’s divisions at a young age.
“It was a competitive group and to be a part of the trio was good, but at the time our focus was on getting out and about and playing matches.
“We all rotated well and played as a three together – we’ve all gone on to do some good things.
“There’s a lot to be said for learning your trade at the lower levels and I think it’s vital for players to take their time to build experience and learn the game more, as well as learning about yourself as a player and a person.
“It was worth it for me and it’s definitely benefitted me in my career.”
Saturday’s game with the Clarets sees Sean Dyche’s men arrive on the south coast in somewhat rejuvenated form since the turn of the new year, and Wood spoke of the significance and importance of momentum in England’s top flight.
“It's two sides I know well and it’s always tough coming down to the Amex, with the last few games being close.
“We know it’ll be tough but it’s a game we’re looking forward to - at the moment we feel like we’re in the best form of the season so far, from both a team and a club perspective. There’s a good ethos around and we feel good at the moment.
“Momentum is vital in this division, it changes very quickly, and you have to keep riding with the good times and fight through the hard times when they come.
“Every side will go through spells where they may not achieve the results they’d like, but you have to make the most of the highs when they come and maintain focus.”
Tickets for Saturday’s game with Burnley at the Amex Stadium, kick-off 5.30pm, remain on general sale.
Supporters can secure their tickets on BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com/Tickets and via the Albion Booking Line at 0844 327 1901*.
There is a £1.50 per ticket booking fee for in person and telephone sales, while a charge of £1 per ticket applies to online purchases.
Seagull Travel will be running a coach to the fixture with a number of pick-up points across East and West Sussex. A full list of pick-up locations and bookings for all upcoming games can be found here, along with prices.
*Calls to the Albion Booking Line are charged at seven pence per minute plus your network access charge.