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MCLAUGHLIN: IT CAN BE A RISK DROPPING TO LOWER LEAGUES

4 May 2015

Jon McLaughlin took the step down in the summer from League 1 to League 2 to join promoted Burton Albion.

McLaughlin joined Bradford City in 2008 and stayed there until 2014 before he joined Burton Albion. He has plenty of footballing experience, including a play-off final victory with Bradford City.

Not many players tend to make the drop but McLaughlin felt he had to drop to League 2 in order to achieve things in his career.

“I can be a risk but like I say with this particular club and this move it didn’t feel like that at any point.

“Sometimes you would look at it like that and you would be disappointed to think that you’re at a big club with ambitions to move even higher and then you are stepping down but with this move it felt like the right move to make and it didn’t feel like a step down."

After reaching the play-offs the season before last and then the play-off final last season, I think it is fair to say that Burton Albion are far from a club starved of success.

“I just felt like it was a club a bit behind in their process of moving forward which seems to be the case.

“We have been in the right position in the league and we have been strong all season which has been fantastic.”

There is a bit of a contrast between League 2 and League 1. Not so much in terms of the way the ball is played but the way stadiums hold themselves. As you have seen, Bournemouth have progressed up the leagues quite rapidly and are on the brink of the Premier League. Chesterfield won League 2 last season and are now about to secure a play-off spot in League 1.

Jon McLaughlin said the atmosphere in League 2 is different to League 1 because grounds are packed out in the lower leagues.

“It has been very different.

“Sometimes you can get carried away with clubs that have big attendances but again it is very different because even then it is playing in grounds that are half full.

“Sometimes when you come to these more intimate grounds where it is full, it can feel like a much better atmosphere, it still adds to the occasion.”

McLaughlin started his career in the non-league playing for Harrogate Railway Athletic in 2006 for a season before joining Harrogate Town. He then took the step from non-league to the football league as he joined Bradford City.

“It reminds me to the non-league days where we would go to these small clubs but they get about 2,000 through the turnstiles and it felt like a cup final because the ground it packed.

“It was great against Carlisle because we had 4,000 in.

“It felt like a really good atmosphere. It is still great even though the crowds are small.”

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