The lure of playing Championship football was just too much for former Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks to resist after he completed his switch to Rotherham United last week.
The 24-year-old had been linked to several clubs in the summer but it was not until late last Friday evening when he was finally unveiled as a Rotherham player, following Kevin van Veen out of the Northampton exit door.
I’ve only played once before in the Championship so now I want to prove to myself that I can do it and show people what I’m about.
Crooks played for Accrington Stanley, Scunthorpe United and Rangers before moving to the Cobblers, but he’s yet to have a proper crack at the Championship – and he’s determined to prove he can play at that level with Paul Warne’s Millers.
“Finally we’ve got it over the line,” said the midfielder when speaking to Rotherham’s club website after completing his transfer. “It was a long day but they say good things come to those wait and I’ve had to be patient so it’s good to have it finally done.
“I know there was a bit of interest in the summer but it didn’t come to fruition, but I’m here now and I’m just looking forward to it.
“It’s Championship football and that was a big reason for coming here because it’s obviously a step up for me.
“I’ve only played in the Championship once before so now I want to prove to myself that I can do it and show people what I’m about. Hopefully the manager and his coaching staff can improve me and I can kick-on.
“I’m ready for the challenge. It’s a tough league with tough games. I’ve had little spells everywhere but I feel this the time to properly settle down and kick-on with a club that I feel can give me that opportunity.”
Crooks will have to get up to speed quickly if he wants to help his new side get away from relegation trouble in the Championship, with Rotherham currently placed just one place outside the drop zone.
“I’ve heard good things about the gaffer and about the club from other players so I can’t wait to get going,” he added. “The whole ethos of the club and the group of players here attracted me.
“I bring energy going forward and I’ll put in a shift defensively. I know the gaffer is big on that so that’s something I will look to bring but, attacking-wise, I want to get forward and score a few goals.
“The stadium is first-class and the pitch is decent. I’ve heard it’s won some awards so I’m looking forward to getting out there – I just want to play and impress.”