Cobblers boss Curle delighted to seal signing of 'creative and brave' Warburton
Keith Curle believes new recruit Matt Warburton can provide the Cobblers attack with much-needed creativity, and precious goals from midfield.
The 27-year-old becomes Curle's first signing as Cobblers boss, joining on a free transfer from Stockport County and putting pen to paper on a two-year contract at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Warburton is giving up his job as a PE teacher at the renowned Ashton-on-Mersey School in Sale to follow his dream of becoming a full-time professional footballer, having played his entire career to date in non-League.
The attacking midfielder's scoring record has been exceptional in recent seasons, and in the campaign that has just finished he netted an impressive 27 times to help the Hatters to win the Vanarama National League North, the same division that Brackley Town play in.
It means he will be jumping two steps up the football pyramid to play in Sky Bet League Two next season, but Curle believes he will make an impact.
"Matt is a creative player, who plays well in the final third," said the Cobblers boss.
"In the last calendar year, I think he has scored 40 goals, and this season he has scored 27 in a very succesful team.
"He is a continuity player, he is a link player, he is creative and he is what I would describe as being a very brave player.
"He wants the ball, he is prepared to go and express himself, and when you get forward and enter the final third, the lad comes alive.
"Matt has a good footballing brain, he has a good understanding of how to score goals, and can score a variation of goals, and I think that is important.
"One thing we could say that we haven't had this season is enough of a contribution from midfield, and our attacking midfield players.
"I think Matt is a player who will add creativity to us."
Warburton did train with Manchester United when he was a youngster, but was never offered any sort of deal at Old Trafford.
He has played most of his career at National League North level, with Curzon Ashton, Salford City and Stockport, but Curle says the fact he has the hunger to prove himself at Football League level will give him an added edge.
"There are a number of players who potentially may have missed the boat, missed the opportunity first time around, and they find a different pathway back into League football," said Curle.
"Matt is a very bright lad, he is a schoolteacher and he went down the route of getting his qualifications and getting himself a job, but he maintained his desire to play football.
"The thing that has impressed me in the meetings that I have had with him and his agent is that hunger to prove that he is good enough, and not only to himself.
"In my opinion he is good enough, and can be progressive in his career."