TULIPS: Ford focused on earning starting spot

Goal machine: Josh Ford, pictured scoring for Spalding in pre-season, wants to earn a place in the starting 11. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN

Goal machine: Josh Ford, pictured scoring for Spalding in pre-season, wants to earn a place in the starting 11. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN

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SPALDING United forward Josh Ford is hoping he can cement a place in Andy Stanhope’s starting eleven after coming off the bench to score the winner against Wellingborough Town last weekend.

The Tulips youngster started the club’s UCL Premier Division season opener against Northampton Spencer, but has been reduced to appearances from the bench ever since – including in Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw at Boston Town.

Despite competition from Simon Mowbray, Liam Harrold and new signing Greg Smith, the 20-year-old is optimistic he can stake a claim if he puts in the work.

Ford said: “At the moment I’m just trying to get my head down and work hard. If the manager sees me showing the right attitude in training then who knows?

“Hopefully if I do get a place in the starting 11 and perform well, I can keep a run of starting games going.”

Ford signed on at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field this summer from Moulton Harrox, where his consistent performances caught the eye of several managers.

But he decided to go with his local side having played much of his youth career with Spalding Athletic’s junior sides.

He added: “Towards the end of last season the Harrox manager Martyn Cundy told me a few clubs had approached him showing interest in signing me.

“I asked him who they were but he told me to wait until the end of the season, probably so I wouldn’t be distracted.

“Within a couple of weeks Andy Stanhope phoned me, so I went down for a meeting with him and signed that day.”

Ford scored an impressive 35 goals for Harrox, including both goals in their PFA Senior Cup final victory against last season’s Peterborough District League champions Ramsey Town, with Moulton finishing third.

After his success with Harrox, Ford decided he was ready to make the step up to the UCL – but claims he isn’t going to let the move get to his head.

He said: “I wanted to challenge myself at a higher level.

“As a youngster I had trials at Peterborough and Boston United and although I didn’t make it I wanted to keep playing to a consistent standard.

“When players have a good few games or a good season, they get big-headed and start thinking about better clubs.

“I’m just going to keep my head on and make sure I perform as well as I can for the team.”

Only time will tell if Ford can break into the starting line-up.

There is certainly no doubt he has the ability and ambition to make it if he works hard enough.

Next up for Ford and Spalding is Irchester United at home tomorrow (3pm).