Ten’s the magic number for Town hotshot

Declan McManus
Declan McManus
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Declan McManus wants to make an instant mark at Fleetwood Town this season – by hitting double figures.

Last season the Cod Army were hit by a goal shortage, with strike duo David Ball and Jamie Proctor heading the scoring charts with eight each.

McManus, who officially joins from Aberdeen next month, arrives at Highbury on the back of a 23-goal haul at Greenock Morton last season, and is hoping he can carry on his hotshot form.

The 20-year-old told The Gazette: “At the start of last season I set myself a target of 10 goals, so I’ll be doing that again.

“Last year I was lucky to pass that and then set new ones in my head, but double figures is always the aim.

“No-one at Fleetwood got to double figures last season, so it would be great if that was something I could reach.

“Once I get to 10 we will see how many games are left and go on from there.”

Not since Jamie Vardy’s 31-goal haul in 2011/12 have Fleetwood had a prolific goalscorer, with midfielder Antoni Sarcevic coming the closest with 15 goals in the League Two promotion campaign in 2013/14.

New boy McManus has already proved himself a lethal prospect north of the border, those goals on loan at Greenock earning him the Scottish Division One player of the season award as well as caps at Scotland U21 level.

He turned down the offer of a long-term deal to stay at Aberdeen in favour of the chance to play in what he claims is a similar level in League One.

McManus explained: “I’d say the SPL is probably at the standard of the top of League One. It’s very similar.

“League One this season is a hugely exciting league. It looks like it will be really competitive.

“The games against Blackpool will be great and the league will be stronger with the likes of Wigan now in there, so it should be good.

“To be stepping into these sorts of games in my first season is something which really excites me.

“Fleetwood are a club on the up and the sort of club I wanted to join.

“Aberdeen are probably the number two club in Scotland at the moment, since Rangers saw themselves relegated, so it wasn’t an easy decision to leave.

“But I wanted to come down south and test myself in a good league.

“I wouldn’t have come to England for just any club. It had to be the right one and Fleetwood ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for.”

While most players enjoy the summer break from football, McManus says he’s the total opposite.

Keen to come back in the best shape possible, he’s been following a plan from Town fitness coach Youl Mawene, someone he knows from his time at Aberdeen.

“I’m well into my fitness regime already,” revealed the striker. “From the moment I signed I’ve been itching to get back to work, I wish the summer was over already.

“I can’t wait to get started and I’ll be making sure I go back in good shape.”