Jonathan Woodgate says the prospect of Barclays Premier League and Europa League football – together with playing for Tony Pulis - persuaded him to sign for Stoke after his injury-ravaged spell with Spurs.
Woodgate, whose contract with Tottenham expired in June, faced an uncertain future and had been linked with a return to Leeds in the Npower Championship. But after discussions with Pulis, Woodgate said that Stoke's ambitions matched his own.
"I decided to go for a fresh challenge and spoke to Tony Pulis a few times," he said after penning a one-year deal at the Britannia. "He sold me the club.
"There were a few other clubs interested, but Stoke are in the Premier League, they reached the FA Cup final and got into Europe."
Woodgate elaborated on his injury history, which saw him make just four appearances for Spurs in the past two years, and pointed to the 9-1 victory over Wigan in November 2009 as the moment that kicked off his latest injury run.
Because of the injury, Woodgate said that he was continually behind in preparations and fitness, causing him to continually pick up further injuries as he scrambled to come back.
"I ruptured the ligament at the bottom of the pelvis, which caused the pelvis to become unstable," he continued. "I had numerous operations and finally got back last year, but because I hadn't got a pre-season under my belt I kept getting little niggles. It was a nightmare."
But despite his injury nightmares, Woodgate is confident that he's in good hands with the medical staff at Stoke and is aiming to break into their first team. "The medical team at Stoke is really good and their record in the Premier League is second to none.
"I've got to take it one step at a time, and the most important thing is to try to get into their first team first, which won't be easy because they've got a strong squad."
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