Skipper reflects after signing new contract
Fleetwood Town legend Nathan Pond put pen to paper yesterday on a new one-year deal with an option of a further year, which will see him continue his remarkable 13-year career with Town.
Record holder Pond has been part of the club since 2003 and has experienced seven promotions with the club – an unprecedented achievement.
Yet for ‘Pondy’ – the ex-bakery supplier – it was not always the highlife of being a professional footballer.
But with 453 appearances for the club, Pond is the Cod’s longest serving player surpassing the record previously held by Jack Ainscough.
Throughout his time at the Cods he has been recognised by Guinness World Records and is the proud holder of ‘the most football (soccer) divisions played in for one club by an individual,’ – a credit to him.
After signing the deal today, here is an at a glimpse look at the career of Uwe Rosler’s captain and the achievements he has experienced.
In 2003/04 Fleetwood acquired the services of Pond when the then 18-year old transferred from Lancaster City.
After several years at Fleetwood, a short loan stay at Kendall Town in 2010 followed and Pond was then loaned out a season later to Grimsby Town.
Enjoying a brief but successful spell at Grimsby, Pond then moved back to Fleetwood and became somewhat of a stalwart in their defence, increasing his pedigree within football and the club.
Playing at Wembley securing promotion to League Two for the club, it has been a sensational career that has seen Pond play alongside the likes of Jamie Vardy.
The defender’s loyalty to the club was rewarded at the beginning of the 2015/16 season, when then manager Graham Alexander, announced him as captain.
Fast forward to 2017, and life is great for Pond and the club under the current management.
Established firmly as captain, Pond and his team sit sixth in the Sky Bet League One table and will be hoping to reach the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in their history, this Saturday.
“It has been a good journey so far and I wanted to continue that,” he said speaking about his new deal.
“We wanted to get the deal sorted as quick as possible so I could focus on tomorrow’s game.
“I want to play for this club, and now it is sorted, everyone is happy.”
Speaking about the current team’s fortunes Pond praises the impact of manager Uwe Rosler, saying the players buy into his thinking.
“The group is doing well, we got him [Rosler] a day before the season, it took a while to get his ideas across but we have got those ideas on board and the lads have come together well.
“We are in the play-offs at the moment, we just need to keep improving and pushing on and there is more to come from us.”
Pond was quick to dispel any worries of his age, and believes he can carry on at Highbury for a considerable amount of time yet.
“I’ll go on for as long as my legs will take me, I still feel good, I am still fit, I have started every game this season, so I have still got plenty in my legs.
“I still remember my first game for the club, it was St. Helens away and I don’t think I had the best of games, I still get a bit of stick for that.”
It is a remarkable feat that has seen the skipper playing over 450 games, yet the Guinness World Record holder is hoping he can create more history this Saturday, with a win against Bristol City.
“It is only the second time we have been to the third round, but the lads are aware of what they can achieve for the club.
“I have got a good relationship with the fans, I speak to a couple of them because we have been here that long, they used to travel on the same coach as us.
“But it is not just the achievement, it is about getting into the fourth round as well and hopefully we can get over the line.”