Reece Deakin hopes to stake his claim for a regular starting spot after becoming Morecambe’s sixth summer signing.
The 20-year-old winger put pen to paper on a one-year deal following a year with the Shrimps’ Merseyside-based development squad and some impressive displays in pre-season.
Listed as ‘a trialist’ on the various teamsheets, his identity became known quickly even if the club chose not to officially reveal it until the start of the week.
The ambition now is to emulate players such as Ryan Edwards, Tom Barkhuizen and Paul Mullin, all of whom flourished under the coaching of Shrimps boss Jim Bentley and his assistant, Ken McKenna.
Deakin said: “The gaffer is good at developing players and it’s always good for any young player to see people who have come in and done well.
“That’s my aim; to do well and help the team as much as possible.
“I’ve taken part in three games and it’s been a good experience because it’s gone really well.
“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet but it’s what I’ve wanted to do.
“I’m 20 years old and most people get professional contracts when they are younger but I’ve kept working hard.”
That hard work saw the former Crystal Palace youngster leave London a year ago to make the move north into the club’s development squad.
He figured in matches against teams including Chester City and Nuneaton, as well as clubs from the Evo-Stik League and various other reserve sides.
After that came a temporary move to Wales and the chance to play senior football on a weekly basis.
“It’s good to be tested in men’s football because you can see what it’s really like,” Deakin said.
“I ended up going to Airbus in the Welsh Premier League from January until the end of the season.
“I have some good experience of playing non-league football but I went back to London for the summer and then found out I’d be coming in for a trial.”
That trial, which included pre-season appearances against Bamber Bridge, Lancaster City and Blackburn Rovers saw some encouraging signs from the 20-year-old.
Stationed on the left-hand side of midfield, his willingness to run at defenders, try to beat them and then cross the ball made him a standout performer.
Nevertheless, despite appearances to the contrary, Deakin doesn’t believe he has been overly blessed with pace to burn.
He said: “It’s always been part of my game, taking on my players, but I’m not the fastest.
“I think it’s the dribbling or the positions I can get into which helps me but I don’t think I’m slow.
“Last season I spent the whole season playing up top and really enjoyed it but I just wanted to work on my game and see where I got.”
Deakin, who will wear the number 19 shirt, is Morecambe’s sixth signing of the summer.
Garry Thompson, Adam Campbell, Vadaine Oliver, and Patrick Brough have arrived on permanent deals while Mitchell Lund has joined on loan from Doncaster Rovers.
Bentley’s main priority now is strengthening the centre of defence.
The Shrimps travel to AFC Fylde on Tuesday night for their latest pre-season friendly.