TOM Ince feels he is finally beginning to shake off the mantle of ‘Paul’s lad’.
Before this season, the Seasiders winger was best known for having a famous father.
Paul Ince was one of the finest midfielders of his generation, a courageous box-to-box player for Manchester United, Liverpool and England.
But Tom’s form in the second half of the campaign, during which he has emerged as a key man in the Blackpool side, has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, and the 20-year-old believes he is beginning to make a name for himself in his own right.
He said: “There has probably been more focus on me because of the family link but you have to deal with that.
“I expected it and there are positives and negatives from it.
“But overall I think it is good, because not only have I got a manager at Blackpool I can learn from, I’ve also got another at home. That means I get double the guidance and advice really, and that can only help me.
“If I am best known for having a famous father, then fine, no problem. But I think over the last few months I have shown what I can do myself, so maybe that tag might fade a little.
“I know I am nowhere near the finished article. I am still very young and I have got so much to learn, but I intend to keep my head down, keep working hard and hopefully those improvements will happen.”
Ince has certainly come a long way in a short time.
He was a virtual unknown a year ago, one of hundreds of young hopefuls in Liverpool’s youth set-up.
Now he is one of Ian Holloway’s first picks and is about to take on West Ham for a crack in the Premier League.
“It is amazing for me because this is my first real season,” Ince added.
“The transformation over the last 12 months on a personal level has been massive.
“From playing reserve team football in front of one man and his dog to being on the verge of Wembley is just a dream.
“I can’t wait and, if selected, it will be a dream come true to play at the biggest and best stadium in English football.”
Ince would love to cap his big day with a goal. His first leg play-off strike against Birmingham took his tally to eight for the season.
“I set myself a target of double figures,” he added. “Time is running out a bit to get to ten ...but I still might get there.”
Blackpool fans certainly hope so.