Former Lancaster City captain Alex Kenyon is hoping to make his mark across the River Lune after signing for Morecambe. Adam Lord spoke to one of the Shrimps’ new arrivals.
In days gone by it was the norm for players who had left Morecambe to cross the River Lune and sign for near neighbours Lancaster City.
It is somewhat more rare for players to make the move the other way.
Via a year at Stockport County, that is the journey former Dolly Blues skipper Alex Kenyon has made to finally get his chance in the Football League at the Globe Arena.
The tough-tackling midfielder only turns 21 this month but having won player of the year in his only year with the Hatters and in his final season at Giant Axe he arrives with a growing reputation and admits there was interest from elsewhere. “Kidderminster came in for me,” he said.
“They spoke to me and wanted me to move down there.
“I heard a couple of other clubs were interested as well but they were just rumours.
“Rochdale wanted me to come down for a trial but I didn’t get a phone call from them.
“Morecambe spoke to my agent and when I heard they were interested I obviously wanted to move up the leagues. I’m pleased. It’s a really good set up and a good new stadium.
“I’m really enjoying it so far, I just want to play now.”
Kenyon has signed a one-year deal with the Shrimps to move from the relegated Hatters in a season that while difficult for the Edgeley Park side, was a success on a personal level.
“It was difficult but I enjoyed my time there,” he said.
“Overall it was hard with three different managers over the season and relegation was really hard to take but personally I thought I did well.
“I gave 100 per cent every game and I’ll be doing that at Morecambe.
“And I’ll take player of the year in my first year!”
The Preston-born player started out in Everton’s academy aged just eight, leaving when he was 15 having shared the pitch with the likes of Oldham’s Jose Baxter and Tranmere captain James Wallace.
After a year with home town club North End, the then left back found himself at Myerscough College, who have helped players such as Norwich’s Anthony Pilkington make their mark in the professional game.
The college’s Giant Axe link up saw him move to Lancaster City where then Dolly Blues boss Tony Hesketh helped get Kenyon back on the right track, turning him into a midfielder and handing him the captain’s armband at just 19 after then City skipper Neil Marshall was sent off halfway through the 2011-2012 season.
“I started out as a left back when I was at Everton and then it was Tony (Hesketh) who said ‘I can see you playing in central midfield’.
“And I remember when Marshy was walking off Tony saying ‘you get it’ and I remember thinking ‘what?’.
“He said: ‘the armband’, I put it on and was captain for the rest of the season.
“I enjoyed it, it was a good experience. There were more older, experienced players in the side. I just tried to perform to the same level I had before I got it which I did.”
While reluctant to talk about his strengths, Kenyon, who sees himself as versatile player best-used as a ball-winning midfielder, says he’ll never be found wanting if there’s a ball to be won.
“I’m good in the air and I’ve got a good shot on my left foot if I get the angles right,” he said. And there’s my willingness to try and win the ball back. I’ll never shy away from a tackle.”
His aims for his first season in League 2 are also modest.
“I’ll hopefully get myself in the starting 11,” he said.
“That’s the first aim and then I’ve got to keep my place.
“It’s going to be hard because there are some good players here and it’s only my first year in the Football League.”