Ed Upson says it was a ‘no-brainer’ to join Millwall — and not only for his Bury-based family and friends to save on petrol to go and watch him.
The former King Edward VI School pupil switched the West Country for South London on transfer deadline day, with no shortage of interest from fellow Championship clubs.
But after the Yeovil Town midfielder heard of the Lions’ interest a few days before last Thursday, there was only one place he wanted to end up in time for the weekend.
“I was out of contract at the end of the season and I did feel ready for a new challenge,” he told the Free Press, after his manager — former Newmarket Town boss Gary Johnson — was highly critical of his form, despite being the club’s top goalscorer from midfield with five from 28 appearances.
“I have come a bit closer to home and they are a massive club and a big name — it was an easy decision in the end.”
Ipswich Town’s FA Youth Cup winner, who came off the bench to score a stunning winning goal in 2005, revealed an old Suffolk friend, former West Suffolk College pupil and Ipswich Town youth teammate Liam Trotter, had helped him make up his mind.
“I know him well and spoke to him before I went to Millwall and he said I have got to go there if I get a chance,” he said of the Lions’ midfielder, who ended up moving to Bolton Wanderers on loan on the same day.
Upson, who was not registered in time to play on Saturday, will hope to make his debut under charismatic manager Ian Holloway at third-placed Burnley tomorrow (3pm), but has been blocked from playing against his former team, and relegation rivals, at Huish Park on Tuesday (7.45pm) as part of the transfer.
And after Johnson told the Western Gazette Upson ‘hasn’t come up to the standard of what we hoped he would in the Championship’, the 24-year-old responded maturely by saying: “I think you have got to take comments like that with a pinch of salt really.
“Sometimes there is an agenda behind them.”
But he added: “If they won’t let me play against them, I can’t be that bad.”
Of the support from those back in Suffolk, the Bury St Edmunds-born former England under-19 international said: “Everyone knows what Millwall’s reputation is like, but friends and family have been really supportive and excited for me.
“It saves them a few miles to watch me play and it is lovely to be a bit closer to home.”
After signing a two-and-a-half-year deal, his targets at the New Den are simple.
“Obviously I want to stay in the division with the team, and personally I want to score goals and play well.”
Despite the comments made on his departure, he added he won’t look back on his three-and-a-half years at Yeovil with anything but pride.