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Fri 24/03
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Russia v Ivory Coast
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The Boulding View

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 10/07/2002

MICHAEL Boulding has asked Grimsby fans not to speak badly of him after he signed suddenly for Aston Villa saying that the chance to make it in the Premiership with the possibility of playing European football in the Intertoto Cup was just too good to miss.

Talking to the Grimsby Telegraph he said: "It's a fantastic opportunity. They want me to play on the left side and it's just a chance I couldn't turn down. I just hope that the fans and everyone at Grimsby understand that I had to leave. You don't know how often these sort of chances will come around.

"They want me to play on the left, but if I'm playing every week I don't care where I am. It's a sad day to leave Grimsby because I've got a lot of good friends there. From the players, the staff and all the fans that I've spoken to. It was a massive wrench to leave. But I believe Graham Taylor can help me."

"He is the main reason, the main influence as to why I joined Aston Villa. He has achieved so much and I liked the thought of playing for him. You only have to look at what he has done with players from lower down the divisions. His track record in this respect is brilliant and that helped me make my decision."

"I also want to work as hard as possible to maintain the progress I've made. I used to do a lot of work with Paul Wilkinson after training and he told me a lot and that helped me massively. I feel I made a natural progression through last season, but Paul's contribution was massive."

"I've had a chat with Paul Groves and he just wished me all the best. I told him straight away what was going on and I'll definitely keep in touch with them both. They've been good to me and given me lots of advice so it would be silly not to keep in touch."

"It's a big step up and I've just got to knuckle down and cope with it. It was strange walking into a dressing room like that, but if you're overawed you shouldn't be there."

Simon Ford is another player that Paul Groves is waiting to hear from. Ford is presently with Wolves on trial and Graham Rodger said: "We haven't heard from Simon during the summer but these days that is not so unusual because agents tend to do all the talking.

"Simon's a good lad and we would love to have him back here but I guess a lot depends on how he does at Wolves and we've not heard anything on that front."



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