Morecambe's Turner knows it's a make or break year for him
Rhys Turner heads into the new season with the Shrimps with the candid admission that this is the most significant season of his career.
The 22-year-old goes into the second year of his two-year contract at the Globe Arena in the knowledge he has it all to prove.
After his goalscoring feats in youth football came to Stockport County’s attention in the summer of 2013, he spent six months at Edgeley Park before Oldham Athletic took him into League One.
However, he failed to become a regular with the Latics and had loan spells with York City and Macclesfield Town before being released last year.
His first season with the Shrimps was a frustrating one with only glimpses of the ability which brought 63 goals in a season for Myerscough College.
“I think this is my biggest season yet,” Turner said after a pre-season which brought goals against Blackburn Rovers and AFC Fylde.
“I only have a year left on my contract and I’m fighting for another deal here so I have to step up to the plate and really prove myself.
“I’ve had a couple of injuries in the last couple of years which have let me down but pre-season has gone well for me. I’ve played more minutes than in previous seasons, I’ve kept injury-free and I’ve scored a couple of goals.
“I know I have to take my chance in the team if it comes along because we have got some good attacking players and there is competition for places.”
Turner’s thoughts are echoed by Morecambe manager Jim Bentley, despite being full of praise for the work he has done over the summer.
At present, Bentley can call upon Turner, Kevin Ellison, Vadaine Oliver, Garry Thompson, Adam Campbell, Aaron Wildig, Luke Jordan or Steve Yawson for any of the attacking positions.
“Rhys has had a couple of hamstring injuries in the past but we’ve got him in a better shape physically,” the manager said.
“He’s got a lot of strengths and he’s striving to do well but this is an important year for him.
“He’s been in non-league, moved to the Football League for money, found himself at Morecambe and he can now go one of two ways.
“He can kick on and do what Tom Barkhuizen or Jack Redshaw did or tail off and go back to non-league football; that’s down to him.
“The signs have been decent so far in pre-season; he’s come back in decent nick, he’s worked on his power and we know he’s got good qualities.”