NEW signing James Caton will make his first appearance as a Blackpool player today.
The 18-year-old was set to start up front against Cardiff City in a behind-closed-doors clash for the club’s Development Squad. He put pen to paper on a two-year deal this week after a successful trial at Bloomfield Road.
The Warrington-born winger claims manager Ian Holloway’s enthusiasm was the reason for his arrival.
Caton told The Gazette: “As soon as I came here I’ve seen you can just thrive off the gaffer’s enthusiasm. He’s really passionate.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to join Blackpool was the style of play – it suits the way I want to play.
“It gives us the chance to have freedom up front and lets us interchange.
“With the style of play and the big fans’ following it’s a great move for me.”
Holloway initially invited Caton to trial for the club’s youth team. However, his performances – including a goal against Everton in Keith Southern’s testimonial – made the manager think he could be ready for the first team.
And Caton, who arrived at the training ground in an eye-catching blazer, can’t wait to get a Pool jersey on.
He said: “I’m delighted to get the deal done. I came here last week and was hoping to impress the manager, and it couldn’t have gone much better really.
“Managing to play and score against Everton topped off my trial, I’m delighted I’ve signed and hopefully we can move forward from here.
“My contract came to an end at Bolton and I went up to Derby, where I played a few friendlies.
“I did well but they had already signed two wingers, so felt they didn’t need anyone else. “Luckily an offer of a trial came from Blackpool.”
Caton has spent the last nine years coming through the youth system at Pool’s Championship rivals Bolton.
He was spotted playing park football in Warrington, just short of his 10th birthday, but chose to leave Bolton in an attempt to progress his career.
“I made my U18s debut there when I was 14, then I pushed up to the reserves,” he added.
“I trained with the first team a few times but never quite managed to push through into the side.
“I didn’t feel it was right for my development to stay there, so I had to look elsewhere.”
“I don’t think I have anything to prove to Bolton, I’ve always been confident in my ability.
“I just needed a manager who would believe in me and maybe give me the chance to play in the first team. Hopefully I’ll get that at Blackpool.”
On the evidence so far, the youngster fits perfectly into Holloway’s attacking structure.
And he’s already earmarked his role models at the club.
“I’m striving to be like Matty Phillips and Tom Ince,” he said.
“Obviously they are well in front of me and have done really well here.
“Ince is only two years older than me, so it shows that if you are good enough the manager here will give you a chance.
“ It’s all about me taking the opportunity when I’m eventually given it.”