FEATURE: Versatile Martin the perfect fit for Cobblers under 'Mysterious Curle'

Joe Martin is 100 per cent confident he will be able to fit into whatever formation Cobblers boss Keith Curle decides to use on any given match day.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 1:17 pm
New Cobblers signing Joe Martin (Picture: Pete Norton)

The new signing joined Town on a two-year deal on Monday, with manager Curle making it clear the 30-year-old's versatiliy was one of the main reasons for bringing him to the club.

Curle is well known for his tinkering of both line-ups and formations, something that has earned him the nickname 'Mysterious Curle', with the Town boss happy to switch from three at the back to four or vice-versa if he believes such a move will cause the opposition a headache.

And Martin says he has no problem with that, as he believes he has many strings to his bow.

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Joe Martin spent two seasons with Millwall

"The 3-5-2 formation probably suits me, as I can play the wing-back role or as the left-sided centre-half," said the former Gillingham and Millwall man.

"I have also played a lot of my career at full-back as well, so I will be happy to play in any of those positions.

"But I will play anywhere to be honest, even if he wants me to play right-back, I don't care. As long as you enjoy it, and it is beneficial, then I am happy to play anywhere."

So what sort of player can the Cobblers fans expect to see when Martin takes to the pitch next season?

Joe Martin in action for Gillingham

"I would say I am comfortable on the ball, and I enjoy getting forward and joining in with play," he said.

"But first and foremost you have to defend, that is the main thing, but I do enjoy getting involved with the attacks."

Martin joins the Cobblers after being released by fellow Sky Bet League Two outfit Stevenage, and he admits he has endured a frustrating past 12 months.

Indeed, he revealed that, but for injury, he probably would have joined the Cobblers in the January transfer window.

Joe Martin has spent the past two seasons with Stevenage

Signed in the summer of 2017, Martin was a regular starter in his first campaign at Broadhall Way, racking up up 45 appearances.

But it was a different story in the season just gone as he found himself sidelined by new boss Dina Maamria, who had taken over from the man who had signed Martin from Millwall, Darren Sarll.

"I played the season before, but the new manager came in, and sometimes that just happens in football, when things don't really click," said Martin, who was loaned out to league one side Bristol Rovers in August.

"So I ended up going to Bristol Rovers and I really enjoyed it there, it's a big club, but it was just so far for me to travel!

Joe Martin's father, Alvin (back row, fourth from left) was part of the West Ham United side that won the FA Cup in 1980, beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley

"I ended up going back to Stevenage in January, and I nearly came here (to Northampton) in January actually, but I picked up an injury, and it didn't quite happen.

"So I ended up staying at Stevenage and finished up playing there at the end of the season, which was good.

"But now I am looking forward to hopefully playing regularly here at Northampton."

Football is something that has always played a major part in Martin's life.

His father is former West Ham United and England defender Alvin, who played at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, while his brother, David, currently plays in goal for Millwall, having spent many seasons at Milton Keynes Dons.

"Since I could walk it has always been about football," said the Dagenham-born player, who started his career in the youth system at Tottenham Hotspur, before going on to enjoy stints with Blackpool, Gillingham, Millwall and Stevenage.

"I have known anything different, and as soon as I left school I knew I was playing football, so that is all I know.

"I don't know what I am going to do when I finish playing football!"

His dad is now a popular radio pundit on TalkSPORT, so does he still get the chance to see Joe and his brother play? Can we expect to see Alvin popping into the PTS next season?

"My dad still comes to watch me play," said Martin.

"He does radio stuff on Saturdays, but when he can he will come and watch me and my brother, as Dave is at Millwall at the moment.

"He still givies us advice and that... and criticism as well!"

Martin has been a played at the PTS on numerous occasions in the past, most recently with Millwall as the Lions eased to a 3-1 win in October, 2016, and it is a ground he has always enjoyed going to.

"It is a decent stadium, and over the past couple of years the club has been in league one, having stormed away with in league two the other year, and it is a decent sized club," he said.

"I have always looked forward to coming here with other teams.

"It looks like we have got a decent squad on paper, hopefully we are going to add a couple to that, and it should look bright for the future."