GERARDO Bruna is hoping he can finally make an impact at Bloomfield Road after a superb hat-trick for the reserves in yesterday’s 4-1 win over Fleetwood Town.
Big things were expected of the Argentine forward when he made the switch from Liverpool in July last year but he has so far managed only three senior appearances.
But the 21-year-old revealed to The Gazette that off-field problems played a big part in his less than impressive first year with the Seasiders.
He admitted: “Last season wasn’t good for me. I wasn’t right mentally but this season I’ve returned much stronger.
“Last year my life wasn’t right outside of football but I’m more settled in Blackpool now.
“I had some problems in my family last year but they are getting better. I just want to play football for Blackpool.”
Few players anywhere in the world can boast a footballing CV like Bruna’s.
He started his career at Real Madrid, where he turned down a long-term deal in favour of a move to Liverpool.
But things didn’t quite work out at Anfield and he was allowed to join Blackpool, along with Tom Ince.
Despite showing promise in pre-season, he made only one Championship appearance last season – a seven-minute cameo in the 2-1 home defeat by Nottingham Forest a year ago this week.
He added: “It’s normal when you’re not playing that you’re not very happy. I just want to play.
“I’m training hard and hopefully the gaffer will give me a chance. I’m just working hard to get my chance. If the gaffer wants me toplay, I’ll be ready.
“I like to play behind the strikers, as you have a lot of space and options, but I’ll play wherever the gaffer needs me. I just want to do the best for the team.”
With Ian Holloway watching in the stands at Highbury, his treble yesterday will have done his cause no harm, especially the 25-yard stunner for his third.
Bruna said: “I was happy to score three goals as it had been a while since I played.
“It was great for the players who aren’t involved to have a chance to show what they can do.
“I practice those sort of things in training, so it was great for them to come off in the game.”
Bruna now has a good chance of being involved in Saturday’s trip to Burnley, though he hasn’t ruled out a loan move to get some vital first-team experience.
He admitted: “I leave all that to my agent really, but I suppose I need to be playing some football.
“I don’t know what my future holds but ideally I’d like to be in Blackpool’s team.
“When my agent told me Blackpool wanted to sign me last season I was delighted to come here, so I still want to make a success of it. Hopefully I’ll get my chance soon.”