Cobblers’ growing reputation for developing and improving young players – particularly central defenders – was a key factor in Sam Sherring’s decision to turn down several other offers in favour of a move to Sixfields.
The 22-year-old centre-back had attracted interest from clubs across League One, League Two and the National League after he was told he could leave Bournemouth, where he had been since the age of seven, following their promotion to the Premier League.
Cheltenham, Cambridge and Wrexham were among those said to be interested, however after speaking with Jon Brady and Colin Calderwood, and having seen Northampton’s recent record of improving young centre-backs, he knew Sixfields was where he wanted to be.
"Definitely, that was a massive factor,” he said. “You look at the club’s track record of developing young players, especially in my position as a defender, is something that really appealed to be because ultimately that’s what I want – to develop and kick-on and improve.
"Hopefully we can be successful here and I can have a good time and learn and get better.”
Asked how the move came about, Sherring explained: "The club got in contact with me a couple of weeks ago so I came in and spoke to the manager and the staff here and had a look round and I made my decision from that. Obviously I saw what happened last season as well and I just wanted to be part of something positive and successful which was quite a big factor. It’s been a quick turnaround but I’m happy to be here now.
"I had been at Bournemouth since the age of seven so it was a long time. It’s changed a lot during that time but it’s a good club and I learned a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time on loan in the past few seasons but I enjoyed my time there and now I’m ready for a fresh start.”
Sherring, who played the first-half against St Mirren on Tuesday evening, will be viewed as Fraser Horsfall’s replacement but the two have different styles of defending.
"I’d like to think I’m pretty good on the ball, I can take it forward and I can pass it,” said Town’s sixth summer signing. “I’m a defender first and foremost so I want to make blocks, win headers and keep clean sheets and be hard to beat.
"I’ve had experience out on loan and that was important, especially for a centre-half. I’m only 22 so I’m still quite young but I have quite a lot of experience and that’s what I have wanted since a young age – to go and play games and make a name for myself.
"I’ve learned so much and hopefully I can take that into my time here and be a success. The squad looks strong and there have been some good additions and I just want to add to that and have a good pre-season and then take it into the season.”