Dougie Bergqvist knows Exeter City is the right place for him
He may still be waiting to make his Exeter City debut, but Dougie Bergqvist is enjoying every minute of his time in Devon.
The 20-year-old defender was manager Paul Tisdale’s first signing of the summer, following Aldershot Town’s relegation from the Football League to the Conference, but the ink on his new deal had barely dried before he was being shipped out on loan.
The Sweden-born stopper joined Conference newcomers Welling United, where he quickly established himself in the first team and has chipped in with some goals as well.
That progress has been stunted, though, after he picked up an injury during his time with the Wings.
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Now, he is back in Devon undertaking a rehabilitation programme, but Bergqvist is itching at the prospect of returning to Park View Road and carrying on from where he left.
“It was going well. I was playing regularly and scored a couple and we were flying in the league,” he said.
“I have played in a few different positions as well which is nice, but then the injury hit me and it was a bit unfortunate.
“I am on the way to recovery now to try and get back there and start playing again.
“It happened in the Forest Green game and it was about five minutes after I scored. I was tackled and it just opened up my medial and I have done a grade two to the medial in my knee.
“I have been out for a month now and I have another couple of weeks before I can get back to full training and then I will go back and start playing again.”
Bergqvist added: “I was doing well, so I want to get my fitness up, train with the boys full-time and have some coaching and stuff and go back there and try and get back into the team.
“They have been flying, so it will be difficult, but I want to get back into the team there and play up until Christmas and then come back and fight for a place in the team here. This is where I want to get in and make my name.”
Despite his tender years, Bergvist has led a somewhat nomadic life to date. He was born in Sweden and moved to Berkshire aged ten where his talent for football was quickly noted.
He spent time at the Academies of Queen’s Park Rangers and Reading before signing for Aldershot at 16, where he made eight appearances. He has also undertaken loan spells at Staines Town, Farnborough, Basingstoke Town and Dorchester, but he sees his future in Devon.
“I was very happy to sign for Exeter. Paul has been very good to me. We had a long old chat and I am really happy to have signed and tale the next step in my career,” Bergqvist said.
“It was difficult at Aldershot because we weren’t getting paid over the summer, we didn’t know where the club was going and there were not too many indications of what was going on.
“It worked out that a few things came together and this was one of the offers I had.
“It was always the plan to get me out on loan to begin with and try and play as high as possible. I have played quite a lot of Conference South in the last few years, so it was good that a Conference club came in for me.
“Welling and [manager] Jamie Day have been excellent for me and I have really enjoyed playing under him.”
Welling were among the pre-season favourites to go down, but they have surprised many this campaign. They are currently sixth in the Conference Premier and Bergqvist has been instrumental with two goals in his nine appearances.
“They did really well last year and they have confidence behind them” he said. “There is no expectation on us, except to stay up, but we have started so well, we want to finish in the play-offs. It may be long-sighted to people from the outside, but we really believe we can have a good season.”
Bergqvist added: “I have been out on loan quite a lot in the last few years and it is good for me to go out and get games.
“You don’t want to be sitting about playing reserve football and youth football all day. I am one of them that wants to go out and play plenty of men’s football, especially as a centre half because you want to get a bit of the action.
“It’s great to get first-team football and now I come back here and I want to try and get first-team football here.”