Matt Crooks says he is ‘excited’ to be joining a ‘club on the rise’ after he signed for the Cobblers from Glasgow giants Rangers for an undisclosed fee, which is reportedly £100,000.
The 23-year-old central midfielder put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Sixfields, after deciding Northampton was the next step on his football career path.
The former Accrington Stanley man still had three years to run on his Ibrox contract, but had found himself out of favour with the Scottish Premiership club and decided to move on as he wanted to play games.
Crooks was also wanted by Town’s Sky Bet League One rivals Scunthorpe United after a successful loan spell at Glanford Park last season, while it is believed other clubs were also interested, but he believes Sixfields is the place to be.
Boss Justin Edinburgh has played a major role in persuading Crooks to opt for the Cobblers, not only with his plans for the team, but also the plans for the club as a whole following investment from Chinese company 5USport also
Asked if he had spoken to Edinburgh, Crooks said: “We had a good couple of chats, with the first one about three weeks ago now.
It is a club on the rise, and I want to be back on the rise, so hopefully we can do that together. I am really looking forward to it, and there really seems to be a buzz about the placeNew Cobblers signing Matt Crooks
“He told me about how the club wants to progress, and how he envisages the season going and how he wants to play.
“It was just about the whole club really, and it does excite me which is what has brought me on board.”
With Edinburgh and the squad in Spain last week, Crooks was invited to Northampton to have a look round Sixfields and also the club’s Moulton training base, and it clearly left a positive impression.
“It is a club on the rise, and obviously I had a sticky year last year, but I want to be back on the rise so hopefully we can do that together.
“I am really looking forward to it, and there really seems to be a buzz about the place at the minute.”
Crooks has been linked to the Cobblers for close to a fortnight now, and he admitted: “It has been a long, drawn out process.
“I was at Rangers last season but I didn’t play much, so I wanted to get games and went to Scunthorpe, but unfortunately got injured there, and had to go back to Rangers.
“I wanted to get out and play some games, so I find myself here.”
So was it a difficult decision to choose the Cobblers over Scunthorpe?
The Iron made no secret of the fact they wanted to sign the player, with manager Graham Alexander and chairman Peter Swann both going public in a bid to persuade Crooks to sign there.
“I have made friends at Scunthorpe, I enjoyed it there and me and the gaffer got on well,” said Crooks.
“But when I came here (to Sixfields), and I saw the place, and saw what was going on with the investment and where the club wants to go, I thought it was the right decision for me.”
Crooks, who stands at an imposing 6ft 4in tall, has travelled with the Cobblers squad for their pre-season friendly at Frome Town on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether he will feature in the game or not.