'Right place, right time', says former Ipswich Town star Dean Bowditch - as he joins Stowmarket Town
PUBLISHED: 12:18 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:29 20 November 2019
New Stowmarket Town signing, Dean Bowditch says he just wanted the 'feelgood factor' back in his football once more.
The 33-year-old, who made the first of more than 400 appearances in the Football League as a 16-year-old for Ipswich Town, has joined the Greens Meadow club on a deal until the end of the season.
It's a huge coup for Stow boss Rick Andrews and all at the club.
Bowditch admits it's 'right place, right time' - and he can't wait to get going.
"It was a bit of a surprise to get a call a couple of months ago to be honest," Bowditch admits.
"My baby son, Albie, was only a couple of months old, so the time wasn't right. But when we spoke again more recently, the timing is now perfect.
"I need to enjoy my football and Stowmarket just have that feelgood factor about them. What they are trying to do on and off the pitch.
"I think people forget I'm heading towards my mid-30s, but the way I play and the way I look, it's nice, people think I'm younger.
"I've been involved with professional clubs since I was about 10-years-old. It's been, football, football, football.
"But I have a completely different outlook on life now with Albie here. Me and my wife met in our teens and we have waited a long time for a family. We are both besotted with him."
A promotion winner with MK Dons in League One, Bowditch also had loan spells with Burnley, Wycombe Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Northampton Town and Brentford, before leaving Ipswich Town to join Yeovil Town in 2009.
A six-year stint at MK Dons saw Bowditch help the club finish runners-up in League One in 2014-15, to earn promotion to the Championship, while the last two seasons he has been at Northampton.
After being released by the League Two club at the end of last season, Bowditch became a free agent in the summer.
"Quite honestly I have been happy to take time out and spend time with my son," he said.
"But you know what it's like being a footballer. You start to get a bit itchy and want to get out there again.
"And that was when I spoke to Stowmarket again recently. It was right place, right time, simple as that.
"Quite honestly I don't care a jot that it's lower league. I know I'm going to enjoy it. I've had opportunities from other clubs near where I live and some further away higher up the leagues. But this just felt right.
"They are flying in the league, have a very professional way with things off the pitch. The timing is just perfect for all parties."
But at 33, has Bowditch given up on re-igniting a professional career?
"No, I haven't," he said.
"As I said, there have been other offers for football, but I have other things in the pipeline as well.
"But right now, I'm really looking forward to playing for Stowmarket."
Stowmarket boss Rick Andrews said: "It was an unexpected opportunity to sign an experienced player who we know will bring so much to the club, on and off the pitch.
"As a group Dean will enhance us. He's a great lad. It raises our profile, hopefully puts a few more on the gate, including plenty of youngsters.
"It's a season-long contract for now, but who knows where it will lead?"
Bowditch goes straight into the Stow squad for their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division clash with Mildenhall Town on Saturday at Greens Meadow.