No sooner had Jake Buxton signed for Wigan Athletic but he made his debut last night at Oldham. The 31 year old central defender, who is 5 ft 11in tall, has joined Latics on a three year contract.
On acquiring Buxton’s services Gary Caldwell said that: “Jake adds great experience and competition to our defence and I am delighted to be able to bring him here, Not only will he be an asset to us on the field, but Jake will also add to the great character within our dressing room and I feel he will fit into our group perfectly. He’s a top professional with over 300 Football League games to his name and he’s chomping at the bit to add to his tally.”
Jake Buxton was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, a Nottinghamshire market town. He started his career four miles away in Mansfield coming through the youth ranks, making his first team debut as a 17 year old in a Football League Trophy game against Crewe in October 2002. Buxton was to made captain at the age of 21 in the 2006-07 season and was to spend 6 years at Mansfield Town, making over 160 appearances. However, on the club’s relegation to the Football Conference in 2008 he left by mutual consent.
Following a trail at Crewe, Buxton joined Burton Albion and they went on to win the Football Conference title under Nigel Clough. Buxton was voted Player of the Year for the Brewers in that 2008-09 season, after making 40 appearances.
Clough was to join Derby County the following season, taking the out-of-contract Buxton with him. Buxton went on to make 139 appearances over 7 seasons for the Rams, scoring 11 goals.
In order to learn more about Buxton’s time at Derby we contacted the Ollie Wright at the @derbycountyblog.
Here’s over to Ollie:
Jake Buxton arrived at Derby County from Burton Albion in 2009, following his manager Nigel Clough in transferring from the Brewers to the Rams. Given that Derby had not long been relegated from the Premier League and Burton had only just been promoted to the Football League, the signing was met with widespread incredulity – but Clough had faith in Buxton to make the jump, based on his work ethic and character. –
Clough was big on character. In the same way that his father would have no truck with ‘sh..houses’, Nigel prioritised and was loyal to men that he could trust. Buxton proved to be worthy of Clough’s faith.
He is not tall for a centre back, nor is he particularly quick. He is, however, rabidly competitive, blessed with a street fighter’s determination and not above using a few of the ‘dark arts’, at times. Raised in the lower leagues, he loves to fight for every ball. It would be unfair to write him off as a rudimentary clogger, because he can pass, but it’s undeniable that his game is based on the simple core virtues of ‘heading and kicking it’, to quote Clough.
Buxton continued to play regularly under Steve McClaren, who also extended Buxton’s contract. He was a key member of the side which reached the play-off final in 2013/4, but that season proved to be his peak at Derby, with injuries and the arrival of Jason Shackell reducing him to the role of bit-part player in the past two seasons.
This is the right time for Buxton to move on from Derby, but at 31, he has plenty of time left. And a cursory scan of Twitter will reveal the real affection most Rams fans have for ‘Bucko’, who will be missed by all of us.