He may only be 20 years old, but Dayle Southwell is a footballer who feels he has plenty to prove.
The striker became Boston United’s first summer signing last week after agreeing to link up at the Jakemans Stadium.
The Louth-based youngster became a free agent after being released by Grimsby Town, ending his 10-year stint with the Mariners.
And after mulling over a handful of offers, Southwell was sold by Dennis Greene’s vision of taking Boston back to non-league football’s top tier, where his former employers are currently plying their trade.
“Boston United want to get back there (the Conference Premier), and so do I,” Southwell told The Standard.
“Hopefully, I can do my bit for the team and score the goals to help them get back up there.
“It’s the right move for me.”
Southwell admits he became ‘frustrated’ by his lack of first team opportunities at Blundell Park - he scored five times in three starts last season - but the ambitious striker is adamant that regular football will allow him to finally prove that he can more than hold his own in the senior game.
Southwell consulted his former Grimsby teammate Conor Marshall, who has enjoyed three successful seasons with Boston, before pledging his future to United.
But after his first experience of the Jakemans Stadium, while on loan with Skrill North rivals Harrogate Town last season, Southwell knew what a move across Lincolnshire would bring.
“(Boston) is a great place,” he added.
“The club have got a great support for the Conference North and I remember the game there last season.
“It’s definitely a place where I’m looking forward to playing football.”
It was in that match against Boston where Southwell scored his only goal of that loan spell with Simon Weaver’s side.
With Harrogate trailing with just minutes left on the clock, a high foot from Netan Sansara gifted the away side a penalty kick.
Southwell confidently claimed the matchball, placed it on the spot and drilled home the goal which saw his team snatch a share of the spoils.
“I hope the Boston fans don’t hold that against me,” he added.
“It was nothing personal. Hopefully, I can score plenty more goals for them at Boston.”
That moment, however, convinced Greene that Southwell was a young man who could go places.
The Pilgrims manager said: “He showed on that day he’s got the mental toughness to score an important goal.
“Dayle’s a very good player who just needs games to really show how good he is.
“He’s the same as Ricky Miller (last season’s leading scorer with 28 goals) was.
“He’s got loads of potential and he just needs a good run of games to start banging them in.”
Out-of-contract Miller is still in talks with the Pilgrims with regards to where his future may lay next season.