Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday January 13 2010
New Wigan Athletic defender Gary Caldwell has been speaking about his move from his boyhood favourites Celtic to the Premier League with the Latics and also about his first training session with his new team mates.
The 27 year old defender told the clubs official website that he is relishing the challenge of playing in the best league in the world and he is really looking forward to being part of Roberto Martinez` plans for the club, Caldwell said: 'I've played for Celtic, the club I supported as a boy, a fantastic football club with some of the best fans in the world, and it was a wrench to leave the place'
'But Wigan Athletic are a Premier League club, that's where everyone wants to play and I'm looking forward to that challenge.
'This is the best league in the world where you're getting tested every single weekend, and I think I needed that kind of challenge at this point in my career.
'I'm 27-years-old and I feel as though I'm coming into the best years of my career. As a defender I feel that as you approach 30 you begin to show your best stuff and I'm looking forward to giving my best years to Wigan Athletic.
'I spoke with the manager a lot and I was very impressed with what he had to say. He's got a philosophy on the game, great ideas and he's got big plans for Wigan. He wants to take the club to the next level which sounded exciting and something I hope to be a part of.'
'There's competition for places at any football club and it's good for every player to have that. You're always wanting to do well and spur each other on. At the end of the day there's only two who can get the jersey and they're the two who have got to get out and do the job for Wigan Athletic.
'Having been out training with the team I know there are some exceptional players at the club and we've got a squad that's good enough to stay in this league and progress from there. It's just about setting a few things right and doing the job on a match-day.
'When you look at the table it's very tight from 10th place downwards, so whoever puts a run together should be safe. But there are a lot of teams eager to achieve that and I believe it'll be a dog-fight right until the end.
'First we play Wolves on Saturday, and that's followed by quite a few games in quick succession. So it's an important couple of months coming up for the club, a period of the season we all have to be ready for.
'Personally I'm fit and ready to play. It felt good to get my first training session under my belt and I'll be kicking on from there.'
Gary Caldwell`s brother Stephen plays for local rivals Burnley and the new Latics signing says he can`t wait to face him when the clubs meet in March, he is also pleased to renew acquaintances with James McCarthy who he knows from McCarthy`s playing days up in the SPL with Hamilton.
Caldwell says that in McCarthy he`ll have a familiar face and he says the rest of the team are joking that young McCarthy finally has someone who can understand him, he continued: 'Obviously I spoke to my brother before making the move, he's played in the Championship and helped bring Burnley up and he told me how tough a league it is, but it's where you want to be and I'm happy to be here.
'Stephen's injured at the moment but I've had a look at the fixtures and we play Burnley here in late March so it will be a special occasion if two brothers go face to face in the Premier League, I'll certainly look forward to that one.
"Then there's James (McCarthy) who I know from his Hamilton days. The boys were saying that he's finally got someone who speaks his language!
'Obviously I've been talking to him a lot, I know him from when he played for Hamilton and as a young lad coming down here from Scotland I suppose it'll be good for him as well as me to have someone to get on with.'
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Wednesday January 13 2010
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