Kettering move has proven to be just right for White

Paul White believes he might not be playing football now if he hadn’t joined Kettering Town just under four years ago.

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 7:15 am
Goalkeeper Paul White has enjoyed a successful stint at Kettering Town since joining the club in September 2016. Picture by Peter Short
Goalkeeper Paul White has enjoyed a successful stint at Kettering Town since joining the club in September 2016. Picture by Peter Short

The goalkeeper signed for the Poppies at the age of 21 having been released by Forest Green Rovers and has become a virtual ever-present between the sticks at Latimer Park.

So far, he has made 159 appearances for the club and helped them gain promotion from the Southern League Premier Division last year.

Once again, White proved a key figure in the fight for survival in the National League North.

Poppies fans will now be hoping he stays on for more whenever the next season starts and White insists he has nothing but gratitude for the club after taking him on in September 2016.

“I am sure the conversations have started behind the scenes about next season and I am sure we will sit down when we can,” the Poppies stopper said.

“At the moment it’s a case of getting through this current crisis and then talking about it all.

“I have had four years here. I came to Kettering as a young boy having just been released from the full-time game and probably a bit naive and immature.

“I am a little bit older and wiser and I feel I have matured from a boy into a man in my time here and it’s not until you get a break like this that you can step back and look at it.

“I have had two seasons in which I had 20 clean sheets and I have a promotion on the CV as well as the season where we lost in the play-offs.

“I feel I had a good season in the National League North and this last year-and-a-half to two years has probably been the best period of my career from a performance point of view.

“I am only 25 so if I look back now and ask myself if I made the right move four years ago then the answer is yes.

“And if I hadn’t made that move then I probably wouldn’t be playing the game so I am very appreciative of what Kettering have done for me.”

White, meanwhile, admits it would have been nice for the Poppies to finish last season on their own terms.

Kettering were battling against the drop throughout the campaign after gaining promotion and their fortunes only changed when Paul Cox arrived to replace Nicky Eaden at the end of October.

At that point, the Poppies were entrenched in the relegation zone in the National League North but they gradually pulled themselves out of trouble and were on course to finish the job when the season was suspended and subsequently ended due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nonetheless, the target of survival was achieved and White added: “Obviously everyone’s health is the most important thing and it was the right decision to end the season.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to continue playing in this situation.

“But it is frustrating because we feel like we did 90 per cent of the job and it would have been nice to get to the level where we were mathematically safe.

“Overall, I think it was a good season. When you look at the first 12 or 13 games, we could have been the whipping boys.

“There was the change of manager and it resulted in a change in fortunes and we have achieved what we wanted to from the situation we were in."