Josh Lelan admits leaving his home town club Derby County for the Cobblers is a ‘big thing’ - but that he’s not scared of doing it.
The 20-year-old has been on the books at Derby since he was 15, and was a fan and season ticket holder for years before that.
But he has now switched the grand surroundings of Pride Park for the more modest Sixfields Stadium, and he is looking forward to a ‘new challenge’.
“I am from Derby, born and bred, and I grew up following them,” said Lelan, after he put pen to paper on a 12-month deal with the Cobblers.
“I was a season ticket holder from when I was about nine, and it is a big thing to move away from your home town.
“But I’m not scared of it, it is something that comes with the job, and it’s on to the next one.”
“I have joined for the new challenge.
“I know Northampton is a big club, and I need to get some league games under my belt.”
Three months and 10 games of loan football at Gateshead and Swindon Town aside, Lelan has spent his time at Derby playing age-group football.
Now he wants to get his career properly up and running, and after doing his ‘research’, he believes Northampton is the place to do that.
“I didn’t know a lot about the club if I am being honest before I came here,” said the 20-year-old.
“I have had a look around, done a bit of research, have spoken to a few people and obviously I now realise the size of the club, and I think we can put a promotion push on this season.
“I don’t see it as a big drop at all because I was predominantly playing under-21 football at Derby.
“I played a bit of league one with Swindon, and it’s more really a chance of style and attitude, playing football at 3pm on a Saturday, and that’s what I need to further my career.
“This is a fresh start, and that is probably the right way to put it.
“If I can come to Northampton and show what I’m about early and embrace it, then that’s a good thing.”
Lelan is a versatile player, who can play at full-back, in central defence or in midfield, and when asked what sort of player he is, he said: “I like to get on the ball and play, but I am not afraid to defend, or scared of getting involved in the big tackle, and I do like the big stage.
“Hopefully I will get the chance to play in front of this crowd at Northampton and show what I’m all about.”