Former Fulham defender rejected other Championship offers to sign for Millwall

Millwall defender Matthew Briggs. Picture by Brian Tonks

Millwall defender Matthew Briggs. Picture by Brian Tonks

First published in Sport News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , Millwall reporter

New Lions defender Matthew Briggs has revealed he turned down offers from three Championship clubs to sign for Millwall.

The 23-year-old put pen-to-paper on a one-year-deal last month and admitted he is relishing the opportunity to work with manager Ian Holloway, and also looked ahead to the Lions’ league opener against Leeds United this weekend.

“Millwall made a contract offer and for personal reasons, commitments off the pitch with mortgage and a house, my agent tried to get the contract he can for me.” Briggs said.

“He told me to step away for a few days and sort it out.

“I’ve never really spoken to Blackpool. I’ve always wanted to play for Millwall.

“My agent was talking to Blackburn as they might need a full back and I went to Huddersfield for a few days and had a contract offer.

“But when I heard Millwall and Holloway were interested, it was a no brainer for me.

“I wanted to stay in London as my friends and family are here and it’s an opportunity to stay here and be with my family.”

Briggs added: “It’s a good club with good fans and a good manager, I do know what I can do but when you’re playing football you need confidence and need games and the manager will give me that.

“Millwall have a reputation – their fans are a bit lively and the team is aggressive but, under Ian Holloway, you can see that it’s a different club.

“We like to get the ball down, make the pitch big and play. That will suit me down to a tee.

“We made a few good signings. When you bring players from non-league they want to prove that they’re capable at this level and the Championship is a very good league to be in.”

Scott Malone was one of Millwall’s outstanding performers last season and was largely unchallenged for the left back berth. Briggs, however, has said he will be fighting for a spot in Holloway’s first eleven, and has told fans what to expect from him.

“I love to get forward, Briggs explained. “I get forward a lot and Ollie has told me not to worry about the defending side, he wants me to attack and then get back to defend and do my job.

“Scott and I are friends, I know him from the England youth team and it’s healthy competition.

“It’s not going to change how we feel towards each other, we’re friends on the pitch and friends off the pitch.”

Millwall kick-off their Championship campaign at home to rivals Leeds United and Briggs is looking forward to experiencing the rivalry in full-flow when the season gets underway on Saturday.

“In a match like that, I'll enjoy the needle,” Briggs explained. “It’s exciting and the first game to the season.

“Everyone will want to do well, we’ve got to look forward to it really.

“We need to get a good start to the season. You can see what Holloway’s done with Blackpool and Palace in the past, so why not Millwall?”

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