Captain Matt Worthington has spoken about his pride at being handed the Yeovil Town armband this season as he looks to lead his side to the National League South season.

The 26-year-old was handed the captaincy after the departure of former skipper Josh Staunton at the start of this season and has repaid the faith of manager Mark Cooper by playing more games in a single season that he has managed in the rest of his career.

Having been part of the squads which took the club out of the Football League in 2019 and the National League Premier last season, he admits he wants to get the title secured as soon as possible. He could do it this weekend with the Glovers needing just three more points to be crowned champions when fifth-placed Worthing visit Huish Park on Saturday.

Speaking on Thursday, Worthington said: “I am massively proud to be captain of this football club. I was really grateful for the Gaffer for giving me the opportunity, it is a massive personal achievement.

It would be a massive achievement personally but more importantly for the club because we need promotion. We will be looking to get that done as soon as possible.

I can’t describe the feeling I get when I walk out with the armband on, I have been here so long, so it is a dream come true. There is a lot of lads in there that are leaders, I wear the armband but with the likes of Coops (Charlie Cooper), Frank (Nouble), Smudge (Michael Smith), Joe Day, Morgs (Morgan Williams) there are plenty of characters in there.
When we all come together and help the team out there, it is important we help the team out.

He admitted he had questioned his own future at Huish Park following last season’s relegation with the club in a state of flux as former ‘stewards’ SU Glovers, the group operated by now-York City owner Matt Uggla, abandoned their takeover plans. But, the takeover by local businessman Martin Hellier and the decision to keep Cooper as manager convinced Worthington to sign a new two-year contract in June.

The midfielder said: “It was a very tough few weeks in the summer, I did not really know whether it was time to move on but I made the decision to stay after conversations with Martin and the Gaffer. I am really thankful I did now and hopefully we can get the job done.

“It was tough last season and it was difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel with the way the club was going. Thankfully Martin (Hellier) took over, kept the Gaffer which was massive for us, and signed some really good players.

It comes down to the complete change we have seen that from top to bottom and it is important that we finish the job.

Matt Worthington. Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

In his press conference, Cooper was full of praise for the player who he signed on loan as manager of Forest Green Rovers in the 2018-19 season before taking charge of him again when he arrived in Somerset.

The manager said: “He is a winner, he does not even like losing at five-a-side or even games of Tiddlywinks. He is a good character and I think Matty before was a midfield player who was just going to run all over the place with his energy.
We have tried to give him a structure and a discipline to his play which allows him to show off his qualities and I think he has shown us this season.

The ex-Bournemouth academy graduate scored the first of his four goals this season at Worthing in the 2-1, sealed by an injury time winner from Morgan Williams, and is expecting a tough game from the visitors to Huish Park on Saturday.

He said: “They had a bit of a dip in form when they lost their manager (Adam Hinshelwood to York City in February), but they seem to have picked up now. They are a good footballing team and everyone knows that. They play total football.

It was a tricky game at their place on an artificial surface which is always tough, but we are at home so we are full of confidence that we can put on a good performance and get the win.

Previous to the Torquay game (which the Glovers won 3-0 on Good Friday) we lacked a bit of confidence and it is natural that at some stages of the season you have more confidence than you do in others, but Friday was a really good performance. We looked back to ourselves and we have to take that in to Saturday.”

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