JAMES Tunnicliffe has signed for Wycombe Wanderers after passing a medical this morning, telling the Bucks Free Press the chance to play football the right way was key to him agreeing the move.
The 6ft 3in centre half had a year left on his contract at Brighton but agreed an early end to his deal with the Seagulls, paving the way for his move to Adams Park.
And he said continuing to play the passing football that was Wycombe’s trademark last season will ensure survival in a higher division.
He said: “I know the sort of football Gary [Waddock] likes his teams to play. They’re a good club who play the right way.
“I’m more than just a defender who kicks it, I like to pass it at the right time. I’m looking forward to being in the team next year and doing well in League One.”
The 22-year-old said Blues fans could look at the success of other clubs promoted from League Two as an indicator of how next season will go.
He said: “I look back to Rochdale, they came up last year to League One and people thought they would struggle as they didn’t have the budget but if you play the right way you’re always going to be successful.”
Tunnicliffe joined Brighton from Stockport County in 2009, having been part of the Hatters side that secured promotion to League One at Wanderers’ expense after an aggregate win in the play-offs.
County had to beat what Tunnicliffe described as “one of the best teams we played, football-wise” and enjoyed a successful half season before financial meltdown struck, prompting his departure to the south coast.
He said: “By Christmas we were fifth in the league, then the financial trouble came about. If they had kept that team together I think we’d have pushed for the Championship.”
Tunnicliffe ended last season on loan at Bristol Rovers, which resulted in relegation despite a brave attempt at a last-gasp escape.
He said: “I didn’t think the manager [Dave Penney] signed me knowing too much about me. We didn’t have a good start and I didn’t have one personally but when [player-manager] Stuart Campbell took over I was on good form in the last ten games. I didn’t want the season to end, I wanted to carry on and keep performing.”