Bees defender Charlie Clough has had to work hard for his place in League Two, having once found himself scaffolding to fuel his playing career.
After making his debut at 17 with Bristol Rovers, Charlie’s potential was clear from an early age.
A string of injuries however, led to Charlie falling out of the football league and being forced to apply his trade part time at Dorchester.
“It was in a bad situation for me mentally after so many injuries. It was hard to get a team. My Dad made me work, scaffolding for a season in the pouring rain and freezing cold.
I was up at 6 every morning and getting home at 5.”
The road back to league football was a tough one, with Charlie juggling a full time job with training. But the defender was always confident he could return to the football league.
“I worked hard. My family and friends got round me, they knew I was good enough. I got mega fit. I worked all day, would come home and go for a run or go to the gym, go to training, then play Tuesday nights.”
Charlie’s hard work paid off and he went on to score 15 goals from centre back for Dorchester that season, earning himself a transfer to full time side Sutton.
Playoff appearances for Sutton and then Forest Green Rovers did no harm for Charlie’s reputation and led to Barnet coming knocking for his services.
His January move to the Bees saw another change of scene for Charlie and a welcome return to league football.
The transition was made incredibly easy by the team moral and energy around The Hive.
“The lads are great. There’s good banter. I’ve settled in very well. It’s the best I’ve settled in to a club. The dressing room is really good.”
“It’s a very friendly club. It has a very community feel. It’s a welcoming place.”
At 26 Charlie believes his best days are still ahead of him.
The defender is in good shape, confident and thriving at every opportunity to play in any role across the back four.
He hopes to help Barnet play at the highest level possible and further enhance the reputation of himself and the club.
“I wanna work hard and kick on again. I think I, and we, are good enough to play higher.”
Playing under Kevin Nugent has also been a positive experience for Charlie, allowing him to learn a lot and develop his game with each training session.
“I like the gaffer. He tells you how it is. He knows what he wants from his players. He speaks to the lads one to one which is good.”
With two seasons left on his current contract, Charlie Clough is ambitious and eager to continue his personal progression, and pull the Bees up the leagues with him.
“If we continue to be strong and fighting fit, anything can happen!”