NATHAN Eccleston thinks Blackpool is the perfect place to kick-start his career.
The 21-year-old joined from Liverpool on deadline day, having been tipped to be the next big thing at Anfield only to struggle to make his mark.
And he hopes he can emulate Tom Ince and make a name for himself at Bloomfield Road after moving from Merseyside.
“Blackpool is a fantastic club,” he told The Gazette. “Obviously I’ve spoken to Thomas (Ince) a lot since he signed here, and he said how great the supporters and management are here.
“He said what a great place this is to come and learn the trade. Tom’s a prime example of what you can achieved if you go out and have confidence in your ability.”
Eccleston was plucked from Bury’s youth team at the age of 15 before making his debut for the Reds’ senior team in 2009.
But he felt it was the right time to make the move and said: “I was at Liverpool for seven years but I think Blackpool is the right place to come.
“This is a big new challenge for me and I want to get out on the pitch and start doing the business.
“I didn’t quite make the breakthrough at Liverpool, but I suppose you have to expect that at such a big club.
“I made nine appearances, but the top clubs have the money to sign £35m strikers, so it can be tough for a youngster.”
Pool boss Ian Holloway has been a big admirer of the striker for several years. In his first season as Pool manager, he spoke about a young talent his side faced in a behind-closed-doors game at Liverpool.
Eccleston recalled: “I remember the practice match Ian Holloway spoke about – it was one of my first reserve games.
“The two clubs had been talking about the move for a while and I was happy to finally get it done.”
Blackpool were keen for more options in attack, but after adding Nouha Dicko and Nathan Delfouneso as well as Eccleston the competition for places is set to be fierce.
But that’s something Eccleston will thrive on. “I’m coming to a team who are top of the table and have done well for the past three seasons. This is a team at the peak of its football, so I don’t just expect to walk into the side.
“I have to earn my place, and hopefully when I do that I can work hard and stay in the team.”
Although he’s never played against Pool in a competitive senior game, Eccleston has an abiding memory of the club’s Squires Gate training ground.
“When I was at Bury, we played Blackpool at the training ground and I remember planes flying over and all sorts, so I’m looking forward to that. Obviously as a kid I was always coming to Blackpool for the Pleasure Beach, so I’m no stranger to the area.