'It's a team and style I feel I can fit in' - Ben Close delighted to join Doncaster Rovers
The desire to take on a new challenge was the main driving force behind Ben Close’s decision to join Doncaster Rovers.
The 24-year-old signed a three-year deal with Rovers on Monday, becoming the first signing of the summer, and of Richie Wellens’ tenure as manager.
He rejected the chance to remain with boyhood club Portsmouth, with whom he first signed professional terms seven years ago.
And he felt the combination of Rovers and Wellens meant the Keepmoat would be the ideal destination.
“I was offered the new deal but I just got to the stage in my career where a new challenge felt imminent for me,” he said. “It felt like the natural next step in my career.
“I always felt that leaving Pompey would be a bit of a shock but it felt natural and the next thing to do in my career.
“To be the first signing is great for me and to be joining a club like Doncaster Rovers is a massive challenge for me and a really exciting one.
“To have the manager show his interest and how much he wanted me was a big pulling factor and I can’t wait to get going for him.
“I’ve played against his teams several times over the last few years and they’re always tough games. They always play a style where I feel I could fit into it.
“Looking at Doncaster as a club, I feel the same. No matter who the manager has been here, it’s always been a tough game and a team and style I feel I could fit in.
“Those factors meant I couldn’t turn it down really.
“Me and my family are really excited to start this new chapter. To sign a three-year deal is great and to play for a manager that showed he really wanted to sign me is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Born and raised in Portsmouth, Close made 190 appearances for his hometown club.
He had been on the fringes at Fratton Park under Kenny Jackett last season, but played ten of 12 matches under Danny Cowley who took over in March.