FEATURE: Adams can’t wait to rekindle his Cobblers love affair
Nicky Adams can’t wait to get out and strut his stuff in front of the Cobblers faithful once more.
A familiar face to the Town supporters, Adams was a major cog in the title-winning wheel during the 2015/16 season, and in the first half of the campaign was the outstanding attacking player.
Quick, creative and comfortable off both feet, Adams was the team’s brightest spark in the first four months until the return from injury of Ricky Holmes, with the pair then at times creating havoc together down both wings.
It would be fair to say neither player was properly replaced, but at least Adams has been now - by himself!
His return to the club was greeted with glee by the Cobblers supporters, and the player is just as happy to be back.
Asked if he was looking forward to playing in front of the Town fans again, Adams said: “I came here last year with Bury, and the fans gave me some nice applause so that was good - and I got the odd boo as well, but that happens!
“They are supporting their team and that is how it should be.
“Then when we played Northampton towards the end of the season, as I was walking off I gave them a clap because I have a good relationship with them.
“The memories I have from here are fantastic, and you never forget those.
“I am looking forward to it, because this is a really good club with a great fanbase.
“When I was here the ground was packed because we were doing well, and even at the times earlier in the season when it was tough, they stood by us.
“All I can say is I am excited, and it is going be good to go out there and play in front of them again.”
Adams’ return to the Cobblers was a shock one.
The financial troubles at Bury meant the 32-year-old was out of contract at Gigg Lane, having only just helped the Shakers to promotion from Sky Bet League Two last month.
Indeed, that was Adams’ third promotion in the space of five years, but he says that his title-winning season at Town under Chris Wilder was an extremely special time in his career.
Looking back on his previous spell at the club, Adams said: “What a season it was!
“I have so many fond memories of it, and I am still really good friends with all the lads that were here.
“It is similar to this season we have just had with Bury, you have that bond with people and you are friends for life.
“It was unbelievable and it couldn’t have gone any better that season, it was one of my best memories in football, and to come back here is special.
“Hopefully we can create some more memories like that. The gaffer has signed some really good players already, and hopefully it will be a positive season.
“This place has got everything, and I just want to be a part of it and I will give my all on the pitch like I normally do.”
So, is the Nicky Adams of 2019 a better player than the one that left Sixfields in 2016?
He made the most assists in league two last season, creating 16 goals, and he believes he is in great shape.
Although he has been away for three years, 10 months of that time was spent sidelined as Adams suffered a cruciate ligament injury in November, 2017.
Adams has recovered from that setback brilliantly, and the player is now just determined to make the absolute most of his career.
“I had a really bad injury, so to come back from that was great from a personal point of view,” said Adams, who played under Town boss Keith Curle at Carlisle United, the club with whom he suffered the injury.
“When I left Carlisle (in the summer of 2018) the phone didn’t really ring, because people were thinking ‘oh, we’re not sure about his knee’, and you feel like you have to prove yourself
“This time the phone didn’t stop ringing, but I am a loyal person and I told Keith I wouldn’t let him down.
“If people are good to me then I am good to them.
“I felt last season I had something to prove because I am not daft, I know some people would have been thinking ‘he might not come back’, but I did and I know what I am good at.
“If I can help set goals up for the team then I am happy, but everybody knows they will get 110 per cent effort from me, and that is the most important thing as it takes you a long way.
“I have some unbelievable memories from the last time I was here, so why can’t it happen again?
“I am positive, I have that winning mentality and good habits, and I will give it my all. I am not scared of anything.”
Adams was also keen to set the record straight over his departure from Sixfields last time around.
When Adams left for Carlisle in the summer of 2016, the reason given was that he wanted to move closer to his Greater Manchester home.
It turns out, that wasn’t stictly true.
“It was difficult last time, because Chris and Alan (Knill) left, and what they have gone on to do is superb, they are two top men and I am delighted for them,” said Adams.
“The new manager (Rob Page) came in after them and he had his own ideas, and I don’t really want to speak too much about it.
“But he had his own ideas, and Keith was then on the phone straight away, and the way we put it was ‘okay, I’ll be moving closer to home’.
“But I am well travelled, I have travelled before, I went to Crawley for two years and that is closer to France than home!
“So me driving for a couple of hours, or getting a train, is not a problem.
“It is what it is, that is all in the past, I am back now and can’t wait to get going.”