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Wilbraham On Palace Player

9 July 2012

Crystal Palace's latest addition to the squad, Aaron Wilbraham, spoke to Eagles' official video service Palace Player last week about the reasons behind his move to South London. 

The Knutsford-born forward  is comfortable in an attacking midfield role or as a striker, and he began his career at Stockport County in 1995, where in the nine years he spent at Edgeley Park he scored 35 goals in 172 appearances. An unsuccessful spell at Hull City followed in 2004, before he was snapped up by Milton Keynes Dons a year later, where he would go on to score 57 goals in the 204 matches he played, falling just four goals short of the record for the most goals at Stadium:MK. His form caught the eye of Paul Lambert and Norwich City and he subsequently moved to East Anglia in January 2011, helping the Canaries achieve promotion to the Premier League. However his playing time became hampered by the form of other strikers such as Grant Holt, Steve Morison and Simeon Jackson, and Wilbraham became a peripheral figure last season, featuring only 11 times in the top flight, scoring one goal against Fulham.

Having reached the end of his contract at Norwich, he was released in the summer with Palace one of a number of clubs interested in his signature. Last week he became the third new arrival in south London after defenders Joel Ward and Aaron Martin. 
 
When asked about the motives behind the move to Selhurst Park, Aaron replied: "Paul Lambert was really honest with me, he said that I wasn't going to play much next season and I wanted to play games. I came down and had talks with the manager here, and he really impressed me. He told me about the club, that he'd been watching me for a number of years and that he wanted to work with me. I came down, signed (not long after) and I can't wait to get started."

Aaron also spoke of the qualities the squad possesses and being one of the more experienced players, at 32 years of age, believes he can use his experience of the Championship to help some of the younger players and give them advice. 

"I've been around a few years, I'm 32 now and the manager mentioned to me that we have good, young players at the club and a few experienced players as well who can bring the lads on which is always good. When I was young, the older, more senior players helped me and that's something that you do need to do. There's some good talent in the squad, with a real mixture of youth and experience and they all seem good on the ball with good awareness. I've been really impressed in the first few days training."

Palace's latest recruit also talked about why beginning the new npower Championship campaign on the 18th August with a home game against Watford is the ideal start to the season. The Hornets were thrashed 4-0 in the corresponding fixture last season in Palace's biggest win of the season "It's nice to start the season with a home game, as we can see all the fans. Hopefully we can get the three points for them."

Having scored 100 goals so far in a 15 year career amassing almost 450 appearances, Wilbraham is fully aware of the importance of keeping fitness levels in optimum condition over the summer break. "Pre-season is always tough. You've got to keep yourself going over the summer, you can't afford to just relax for the full time that you're off otherwise you struggle when you come back. It looks like all the boys have been busy working hard over the summer."

Watch the full interview with Aaron on Palace Player now.

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