‘Holty can play at any level, he’s that type of player’ - former City striker making the difference for Wroxham

Grant Holt has been in goalscoring form for Wroxham. Picture: Archant

Grant Holt has been in goalscoring form for Wroxham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Nick Butcher

Wroxham manager Jordan Southgate believes that the experience of former Norwich City talisman Grant Holt can aid the Yachtsmen's bid for automatic promotion this season.

Holt, 38, achieved back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League during his four seasons with the Canaries and joined the Yachtsmen after announcing his retirement from professional football in 2018. Wroxham are currently fourth in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, two points adrift of the automatic promotion places, and Southgate is confident that Holt's wealth of experience can boost his side's chances of clinching promotion this season.

"He knows what it takes," Southgate said. "It's a different level for him, but promotion is promotion. He's used to winning and used to getting promoted, so if that rubs off on the other players then great and, if it helps us as a team, even better.

"Holty can play at any level he's that type of player. The way he plays, how hard he works, the quality he has on the ball. He's proved he can do that at every level. I don't think the level he's playing at makes any difference - that's just how Holty is."

Holt scored in Wroxham's 3-1 win against South Normanton Athletic on Saturday as the Yachtsmen progressed to the last 16 of the FA Vase, but Southgate insisted that Holt's influence at the club has extended further than purely his performances on the pitch since his arrival at Trafford Park.

"On Saturday, when the game could go either way, he's got that experience and quality to get us through to the next round," he said. "That rubs off on the other players - the way he talks to them and leads on the pitch.

"He's had a big impact. His goals have helped, but he's had an impact in the dressing room and a big influence on some of the players. He's been great for us.

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"He gives them confidence on the pitch, he leads by example and helps them out by talking to them - especially the centre forwards. Holty's got his coaching badges so he knows enough about the game and he's played enough pro games to know all about it. He came from the lower leagues before he played professionally, so he's got that experience and that rubs off on the players."

Southgate admitted that although promotion was not necessarily the target at the beginning of the season it would be a great achievement for the club.

"I think we would've taken this at the start of the season. The main aim is to improve on last season and if we could manage to finish second and get promoted that'd be great. We want to achieve it, but it's not everything.

"We're exactly halfway through our games now and if we could finish in the top two that would be great for everyone involved at the club, but we know it's a tough ask and there are other teams who fancy it as well." Wroxham travel to the Hawthorns today to face third-placed Stanway Rovers, who are level on points with the Yachtsmen in the league.

"It's a big game," added Southgate. "They were not in our league last season so they're another new team to play against, but we know enough about them. We're in good form as we've won eight games in a row, so we'll be confident going into it. We just need be disciplined, understand what our roles are and try to get three points."

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