Rob Atkinson has arrived at Fleetwood Town ready to battle for his place in the heart of defence.
The 24-year-old, one of promotion-chasing Town’s eight summer signings, knows he must fight to hold down a spot following his move from Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Grimsby Town.
Atkinson was on holiday when his signing was confirmed ten days ago, but on his return he wasted no time heading to Highbury to familiarise himself with his new surroundings.
He will be challenged by club captain Steve McNulty, established first-teamer Paul Linwood and fellow new signing Matty Hughes for the two centre-half spots, but the Yorkshireman relishes the battle.
“The competition will hopefully bring out the best in me,” he said. “It will make me work hard, and when I do get a chance I’ll want to keep it and play my very best.
“I’ve spoken to the chairman and the manager a few times now, and their ambition to get the football club into the League certainly matches my ambition. I’m looking forward to getting the season under way.”
Atkinson, a Mariners player for the past two and a half years after starting his career with Barnsley, hopes an eye for goal will help give him the edge in the chase for places. “I like to score goals,”added the man who netted four for Grimsby last term, “but my main priority is to stop them at the other end.
“I like going up for corners and free-kicks, and if I can score a goal here or there I’m happy.
“At the end of the day, I just want to keep clean sheets and let the strikers and wide men take all the glory.”
INTERVIEW AND PICTURE:
n TOWN supporters can meet the new signings at a Cod Army Fans’ Forum at Highbury on Thursday week (June 30).
The event will be held in the new Parkside Hospitality Suite, when manager Micky Mellon will also be on hand to assess the coming campaign.
The two-hour forum begins at 7pm and there will also be an opportunity to join the club’s new membership scheme.
Besides centre-back Atkinson and Hughes, Town’s other summer recruits are midfielders Keith Briggs and Peter Till, strikers Richard Brodie and Andy Mangan, left-back Paul Edwards and keeper Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton.
n MIDFIELDER Steve Connors has joined Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Cambridge United on a two-year deal following his release by Fleetwood.
Connors had spells with Droylsden and Altrincham last season, having joined Town from Bradford Park Avenue in 2009.