Paul Booth Interview

Paul, firstly, welcome to the Culverden! Tell us about your footballing career to date.

It was a long time ago but if I remember rightly I started out at Maidstone United and just signed school boy forms with them and a week later they folded. From there I went to Gillingham which didn’t work out for me. I lost a bit of interest to be honest and played locally with my mates when Bill Tucker asked me to come along and play for T Wells. I can’t remember how many games I played but remember scoring a hat-trick away to Cray Wanderers on my last game. From T Wells I signed for Gravesend and Northfleet and was there for 4 seasons, winning promotion to the Nationwide Conference. In 2003 I signed for Welling United and had 3 enjoyable years there before moving on to Cambridge City. From there I went to Lewes for 2 seasons winning the Conference South. I had a year left on my contract but opted to join Havant and Waterlooville, things didn’t work out for me there as I got an injury in pre-season and never really got fit that season so left in March to join Tonbridge Angels. From the Angels I went to Farnborough and then back to Lewes as I really enjoyed my first spell at the club. From Lewes I had the opportunity to play for Maidstone at the new stadium and after promotion to the Ryman Prem decided to join Folkestone and obviously here I am now at T Wells………………….anyone bored yet!!!

TWFC: What’s been a personal highlight and lowlight of your career as a footballer to date?

My personal highlight of my career was the season 2008 – 2009 at Lewes when we won the Conference South. We had a quality team and the togetherness was there which you need to do well at any level, unfortunately it ended on a sad note as the manager was replaced after winning the league and the players left due to this. Personally it was a great season for me as I had one of those seasons where everything I hit was flying in. I ended up with the Golden Boot and the leagues "player of the season" which was nice. Lowlight of my career was my injury at Havant, I pulled my abductor away from the bone and was out for 4 months, it felt very low and a lonely place, especially at a new club that had high expectations of me. The travelling from Kent to Havant seemed to drag so much and I only lasted 6 months in to my 3 year deal!!

TWFC: You are Folkestone’s second top scorer this season. You’re dropping down a level to come to Tunbridge Wells. What factors won you around to being part of the side Martin Larkin’s assembled here at Culverden?

A number of factors really, the first being that the club is ambitious and I think is going places and at my age I want to be part of it. The fact that T Wells is a local club was a big factor as I have a young family that I would love to come and see me play more often. When we played T Wells in pre-season I was really impressed with the set up and professionalism down there and thought to myself this would suit me. After training last night I can see how professional the club is and the training session was very good and enjoyable.

TWFC: We hear you’re looking forward to playing in front of the ‘Culverden Choir’. If you were to give them a helping hand to pick a tune that sums you up, what would it be?

A tune that sums me up…………………………………………….not sure this tune sums me up but its an all-time classic of mine…………………………….Massive Attack, Unfinished Sympathy, I can imagine some of the boys weren’t born when that came out!!!

TWFC: At the moment, there is an exciting tussle at the top of the SCEFL, with The Wells needing to play catch-up. What do you a) know about the squad here already, and b) bring to the party yourself that makes you confident your new side can still be in the mix for promotion at the end of this season?

Yeah this league is tough with only the one team getting promoted and the fact that there are 7 or 9 teams that could potentially win it. I know the majority of the squad having played with or against them over the years and was impressed with the standard at training last night. Some of the lads here really could be playing higher but going higher does not necessarily mean you will be at a better club any more. I would say T Wells is becoming a bigger club than some of the other Kent sides playing higher. First things first is I know I going to have to work hard to get in the side as both Cass and Seenan have been playing well and banging in the goals of late but that’s part of football and being involved within a good squad. What I offer is experience, I can play as the 9 or 10 player as am comfortable playing the hold up player or dropping deeper and linking up play. I’m quite strong in the air and as long as balls are coming in the box I still have a knack of being in the right place.

TWFC: Of course, the Wells are still in the FA Vase. Given that one of the current squad is cup-tied, can we expect to see some Booth fireworks in that most beloved competition for the Wells fans?

With Seenan being cup-tied obviously that gives me more of an opportunity of playing in the Vase game and hopefully if the chance comes I can help the team get the win. I’m not going to say yes I’ll bang a hat-trick as that’s not how football works but I will work hard for the team and hope we can continue the run in the competition as it means a lot to the club and the fans.

TWFC: What will define a successful season for you, personally, at The Wells?

A successful season personally for me would be to finish as high as possible in the league with a good cup run to go with it. Every forward sets them self a target of 20 goals a season and I only need 4 more for that which I’m hopeful shouldn’t be too much of an ask, any more than that will be a bonus.

TWFC: Thanks for answering our questions and looking forward to seeing you in action soon!!

Interview by Craig Methven

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