Fleetwood Town defender Ash Eastham has thanked Blackpool for giving him the platform to build his professional career.
The 27-year-old came through the youth system at Bloomfield Road, signing his first pro deal in 2009.
He made just one league appearance for the Seasiders, off the bench in the 2-0 Championship win over Peterborough in September 2009, just days after his debut in the League Cup at Stoke City.
Spells on loan at Cheltenham, Carlisle, Bury and Notts County followed with the Preston-born defender making just one more appearance for Ian Holloway’s side in a 0-0 League Cup clash at Sheffield Wednesday that saw him pick up a red card.
In 2013 Eastham left Bloomfield permanently signing for Rochdale before his move back to the Fylde coast in 2016.
He said: “I had a great time there. I thank that club for being the club that spotted me at a young age, playing Sunday League level in Preston, to give me my chance in professional football.
“That is the place that grounded me as a professional. It seems a long time ago now, I’ve played many games since.
“I was part of a special era; that was a special time, going to the Premier League and having the time that they did then.”
Eastham’s hope is that Town can use the Pool fans’ off-field frustrations with the club’s owners to their advantage on it.
He said: “I’m not too sure of the outgoings that have gone on there.
“There is a lot going on off the pitch.
“It is a shame to see sometimes. It happens to many clubs for whatever reason.
“We have got to use that as our advantage; if we can use the momentum and start well on Saturday, the fans tend to have a bit of frustration towards other things and what is going on on the pitch.
“If we can use that to our advantage, I think we can get the result.”