Regan Poole loves life at football giants Manchester United, but admits he can’t wait to get stuck into winning league points every week for the Cobblers.
The 19-year-old is swapping life at Old Trafford for the slightly less glamorous surroundings of Sixfields for the next 10 months after signing a season-long loan deal at Northampton Town.
And he admits it was the prospect of once again playing competitive, men’s senior football that convinced him to make the move south - as well as linking up once again with Justin Edinburgh.
It was the Town boss who handed Poole his senior debut as a raw 16-year-old when the pair were together at Newport County, and the player cites Edinburgh as a huge influence on his career to date.
Poole ended up playing 16 first team games at Rodney Parade before he was sold to United in a deal worth up to £400,000.
He has made one senior appearance for the Red Devils, as a late substitute in a Europa League tie the season before last, but aside from that it has all been under-23 football for the Cardiff-born central defender.
It is not alien to me, I have a little bit of an idea, and playing the league is what I am looking forward to the most because I have missed itCobblers defender Regan Poole
And he admits he now can’t wait to get back to playing pressure football again.
“Playing for points is what I have missed most,” said Poole.
“Starting from such a young age and playing in the league, I have had a year and a half now at under-23s football and it is completely different, so I can’t wait to get started in the league again.
“There is no better feeling than picking up three points on your home turf on a Saturday, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Poole’s final performance for Newport was back in May, 2015, while his late, late cameo for United was 15 months ago, but the player is confident he will quickly readjust to the men’s game once again.
“It is going to be a big change from under-23s, but I have played in league two before,” said Poole.
“I know it is a lot more physical, but I have done it.
“I know it was only 16 games (with Newport), compared to what some of the other players have managed in the league, but I know what to expect.
“It is not alien to me, I have a little bit of an idea, and playing the league is what I am looking forward to the most because I have missed it.”
And he added: “At under-23s it is all a lot of passing play, whereas in the league it is all about three points, and if you win three points then everybody is happy.
“I know how much the points mean, it is everything to the manager and the players, and if we manage that then everybody is happy, and I am ready for that.”
Poole has been in and around the first team squad on a few occasions during his time at Old Trafford, as well as training with senior players, and he believes moving to the Cobblers is the next logical step in his football development.
“I have been involved with the first team squad at United,” said Poole, who played all three games for Wales in Under-20 Toulon Tournament last month, under the management of former Cobblers boss Rob Page.
“I made my debut in the Europa League for a couple of minutes, so I have played for the club, and I have been involved.
“The aim is always to get into the first team week in, week out, but this move to Northampton is the next stage in my development.
“I think I needed it, my agent thinks I needed it, everbody at Manchester United thinks I needed it.
“They know I have done it (played men’s football), they know I am ready and that’s why we all came to an agreement for me to reunite with Justin.
“I have loved my time at Manchester United since I have been there, and what a great move it was when I was 17 and going there.
“It was a huge day for me and my family, and I have loved everything there, but it is time to move on now and I am here at Northampton.
“Hopefully I can take what I have learned from being at United into the League.”
Poole’s under-23 boss at Old Trafford is former United midfielder Nicky Butt, and he revealed he his move to the Cobblers also has the blessing for the ex-England man.
“He (Butt) has been great, and there is no better person to work with,” said Poole.
“He has done it all at the top level, and if he thinks this is the right thing for my career then it probably is.”
Poole made his first appearance for the Cobblers in Friday night’s 4-1 pre-season friendly win in Spain against Birmingham City Under-23s, and is set to feature again on Tuesday night when Town travel to non-League side Frome Town.