AFC Fylde new boy James Hardy is hoping that his move to the club will help kick-start his career.
The 19-year-old forward has spent the last three years with Premier League giants Manchester City, but has struggled for first team action, with other clubs believing he is not ready for the step up from youth team football.
However, Hardy is keen to prove his doubters wrong and made the perfect start with a cameo appearance in the Coasters’ emphatic 9-0 FA Cup victory over Coleshill Town last weekend.
The youngster came off the bench and set up two goals – including winning a penalty for the final goal of the game – and is eager to grab his chance with both hands.
“It was good for me personally to get some minutes on the pitch at the weekend,” said Hardy. “However, the most important thing was to win the game and get through to the next round.
“It showed our ambition and how keen we are to do well in this competition. You can only beat what is put in front of you, so even though they were a lower ranked side, we still needed to get the job done.
“I only played about 25 minutes, but I managed to set up two goals, so it was nice to be able to show a bit of what I can do.
“I have played a couple of trial matches at other clubs recently, so it was great to get out there and play some competitive football.
“People may ask why I have come from Manchester City to Fylde. I have had trials at other clubs, but they didn’t think I was quite ready for first team football. So I’m here to prove that I am and that I can cope at this level.
“There are some very good players here. It’s not what people expect when you drop down a few divisions – it’s still a very good standard.
“I spent a few years at Manchester City and now it’s my chance to prove I’m ready to make the step up from youth team football to the first team.
“I want to become a regular here and help the team to promotion. We also want to go as far as possible in the FA Cup. It is a chance to get your name out there and it’s great for the club.
“If I could pick my ideal position it would be as a number 10, but I’m comfortable out on the wing too. I like to link up the play, create chances for others and I don’t mind nicking the odd goal too!”