DANNY Sleath says it is his time to step up to become Boston United’s playmaker.
For the past two seasons the former Mansfield Town man has been a regular in the Pilgrims’ side .
But while central midfield partner Anthony Church claimed the plaudits, the end of season awards and the professional contract with Grimsby Town, Sleath was happy to quietly go about his business on the pitch.
But with Church moving on, the 24-year-old believes it is now his time to step into the void filled by his former housemate’s departure.
“In midfield, me and Churchy always worked hard to help each other,” Sleath explained.
“But now he’s gone, maybe this gives me a bit more of a chance to express myself.
“Hopefully, I can get forward a bit more and get a few more goals.”
Sleath has always scored vital goals - finishes against Guiseley and Alfreton spring instantly into the minds of United fans.
But the midfielder has always been his own biggest critic, often claiming that he should have added plenty more to the 15 goals he has scored in his past two seasons with the Pilgrims.
“I got 10 in my first season and then just five last season, I should have scored a lot more,” Sleath added.
“That’s a part of my game I want to add to.
“I think I should get more goals from midfield.”
One man who could be the key to Sleath’s quest for more glory in new club fitness coach Ian Freeman.
Freeman was brought on board by managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville, who he kept an eye on while they were players at Notts County.
But Sleath is no stranger to Freeman either, having worked with him at Mansfield Town, as well as crossing paths at Loughborough University, where the player studies and the coach deals with the centre’s swimmers.
“Ian’s been working us hard but I think he’s got the best out of us,” Sleath added.
“We’ve been doing a lot of fitness work, but also a lot with the ball as well which is helping us a lot.”
Freeman is also advising the players on their nutrition and conditioning as he helps Lee and Canoville get their men into top shape.
However, the fitness coach explained that his task was made a lot easier by the squad and trialists remaining in good condition throughout the close season.
He said: “The key is to get them into supreme match fitness for the start of the season.
“They’re doing terrific, they’re in excellent shape already.
“They’ve looked after themselves and this is only going to get better and better.” Freeman has joined up with the club for the pre-season period, but hopes to remain part of the club staff.
“I’m hoping this is a long term plan,” he added. “This is progressive and developmental, we’re hoping to help the players fitter and stronger.”