FEATURE: Goode delighted to be the leader of the Cobblers pack
‘I am at an age now where I need to start becoming more of a leader’
Well, Charlie Goode is about to get the chance.
The summer signing from Scunthorpe United may only be 23 years old, but on Saturday he captained the Cobblers for the first time.
The central defender led the team out for the pre-season friendly against Sheffield United at the PTS Academy Stadium, and it’s a ritual he is going to have to get used to.
That’s because manager Keith Curle has named Goode as his first-team skipper for the season ahead.
He takes over the role from Aaron Pierre, who was sold to Shrewsbury Town earlier in the summer.
The decision by Curle to name Goode as skipper is quite a statement by the Town boss, who has signed other players with a lot more of experience over the summer, including the likes of Alan McCormack, Chris Lines, Joe Martin and Nicky Adams - who has been named club captain.
So it’s quite a leap of faith from the Town boss to put his trust in a player who has yet to make 100 starts in senior football.
But it it is a responsibility Goode is delighted to take on.
“I will be wearing the armband over the season, and it is a big opportunity for me,” said the Watford-born player.
“I am very grateful for being selected as team captain and it comes with a lot of responsibility, but I am ready for it.
“I am at an age now where I need to start becoming more of a leader, and I feel I am already, and now it is time to properly be that leader.”
Goode spent four months on loan at the Cobblers last season, and it seems he and Curle made an impression on each other.
So much so that the Town boss made Goode one of his principle close-season transfer targets, and the player was only too pleased to return to the PTS once he knew there was a chance of making the move permanent.
“I said when I first signed, that when I came here last season on loan, Keith and I had a good relationship and we got on really well,” said Goode, who was signed for an undisclosed fee and put pen to paper on a three-year contract.
“He liked the way I played football, and when I spoke to him in the summer it was the move at the top of my list, and I thought I wanted to come back.”
The manager’s faith and belief in him played a major part in that, with Goode adding: “I had been at Scunthorpe for four years, and over the last year there was a lot of managerial changes, and that is quite hard as a player.
“One manager can come in and really take to you, and then one can come in and they are not really a fan.
“So to get a manager here who likes me is a big deal for me.
“He has now given me the armband as well and I need to repay him.”
One of the key roles of a captain at a football club is ensuring things are right not just on match days, but day in and day out at the club as well.
And it is a task that is crucial at the Cobblers heading into the new season, with - as it stands - 11 new players joining the club and needing to be integrated.
“My summer took a while to get going, and I didn’t really know where I stood,” said Goode.
“But looking in from the outside, I saw the signings that came in and there were a lot of experienced players and a lot of good players, and I wanted to be a part of it.
“We want to be up there, but you don’t want to set a target, we will just start the season and go from there.
“There have been 11 new signings, and it is important that we gel, because that is a whole new team.
“We had a good week away in Spain, and it is a very tight group.
"The season hasn’t started yet and it feels like the togetherness is already there, so that is a positive sign.”
Goode’s first competitive game wearing the armband will be the Sky Bet League Two season opener against Walsall at the PTS on August 3 - and he can’t wait.
“It is nice being at home in the first game, we are in front of our fans and can get off to a good start,” said Goode, who is set to lead the Cobblers in their final pre-season friendly against Milton Keynes Dons on Friday night (ko 7.30pm).
“We want to start the season really well, up the pace and be in and around it.
“That will mean teams are coming to us and thinking ‘this is a good team’, and they have to change their approach.
“But it is a big year for the club and hopefully it can be a successful one.”