FEATURE: Nicky Adams on reaching 600 games, targeting 700, Keith Curle and his 'special' Cobblers memories

Nicky Adams.Nicky Adams.
Nicky Adams.
No sooner had Nicky Adams signed off his 600th career game at Wigan Athletic on Saturday than he was already talking about reaching the next major landmark.

Fifteen years after starting out as an 18-year-old for Bury, Adams ticked off his latest significant landmark of an impressive career when he started for the Cobblers at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

He soon notched up his 601st match – and 98th for Northampton – against MK Dons in midweek, but such is his insatiable appetite for football, even at 34, he does not plan to slow down any time soon.

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“To play 600 games is obviously a very proud achievement for me but I’m not going to dwell on it because the next target is 700,” said Adams. “I feel really good.

Nicky Adams playing for Wales U21s against England in 2008Nicky Adams playing for Wales U21s against England in 2008
Nicky Adams playing for Wales U21s against England in 2008

“I’ve just come back from injury so the gaffer is trying to look after me as best as he can. Swindon and Charlton were my first back-to-back games for a long time and I had only three weeks training from the play-off final back in June, which is a long time.

“I always want to play every game and I’m disappointed when I don’t play but the manager knows my attitude and he knows I’ll train hard. I thought I was at it against Wigan on Saturday and I felt fresh.

"It’s difficult for all teams up and down the country playing Saturday-Tuesday most weeks so you can’t play every game. I’m getting older but I feel fit and I’m working hard and as I’ve said, the next target is 700.”

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Adams has played for nine different clubs across his 15-year career but some of his most memorable moments have come at the Cobblers, from the title win under Chris Wilder in 2016 to last year’s thrilling play-off success.

Adams has a close relationship with Keith CurleAdams has a close relationship with Keith Curle
Adams has a close relationship with Keith Curle

“Obviously the two promotions with Northampton are special memories and I’ll never forget them,” he added.

“They came in different circumstances. The first one was a very, very good team. People ask me who would win in a game between that team and the Bury side that I won promotion with - I think it would probably end 6-6!

“It was disappointing that we never got the chance to kick-on. Chris left, a new manager came in and the team wasn’t the same but they are special memories and again last year in the play-offs.

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“I’ve got a bit of stick in the last few years because I always go back to League Two, but it’s not always been my fault!

“I want to play in League One. I think I’ve played over 200 games in this division so it’s not as if I’ve never played in it. I owed it to myself though and I had a good chat with the manager in the summer.

“I knew it would be difficult but I wanted to play in League One and I believe in myself and I believe I’m a good player and I think I showed that on Saturday.

“When you’re older, you know your body better and you’re more experienced. You know when to play and when to have a break but I’ll keep going and who knows where I’ll end up.”

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The FA Cup is often an opportunity for first-choice players to take a rest but Adams has no interest in sitting out Monday’s first-round tie at Oxford City.

"I was frustrated not to play against Peterborough recently but I had to wait and be patient," he added. "The gaffer had a go at me because I was frustrated but everyone knows about my relationship with him.

"I know when to say 'gaffer, come on' but if he gives me a certain look, it's time to shut up! But he knows I want to play all the time because I just love football.

"I'll be straight out with the kids playing football and I'm looking forward to another big game. We've got the FA Cup coming up and that'll be another tough game - they're coming thick and fast but it's what we love and I can't wait to get playing."

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