Ford excited by challenge at Robins
Thursday 2 August
Alex Ford admits he is pinching himself at the prospect of playing semi-professional football with Ilkeston FC.
The 20-year-old (pictured) finished last season in the Nottinghamshire Senior League with AFC Beeston but after being recommended to the Robins by his manager there, Tom Richardson, he has now signed a one-year contract with us following a successful trial.
Ford knows his first task will be to try to earn a place in the first-team squad on a regular basis, given he has a number of rivals in the shape of Gary Ricketts, Daryll Thomas, Jack Watts, Jamie Clarke, James Reid and Andrew Osei-Siribour.
But it is a challenge the youngster is looking forward to now he has returned from a pre-booked holiday for the closing stages of pre-season ahead of the big kick-off on August 18 against AFC Fylde at the New Manor Ground.
“I was put forward for a trial at the end of June that lasted two weeks and after the first pre-season game against Leek, in which I scored in a 6-0 win, Kevin Wilson asked me if I wanted to sign,” said Ford.
“I have to say I was pretty surprised because I had never played at that level before, but I’m very excited and want to get stuck in and see what I can do.
“I have found the standard in training a lot harder, as you would expect. I think it’s in the fitness levels that there’s been the most noticeable difference.
“I’m fairly confident I can make the step up and the main aim is to get some games in. I scored 33 goals last season and would like to think I can get a few for Ilkeston too.”
At 6ft 4ins, it’s no surprise that Ford lists his aerial ability as a significant asset. But he insists there are other strengths to his game as well.
He said: “I’m a big guy, so I can get on the end of balls played in the air, but I feel I have a decent touch and am not the slowest either. I feel I can fit in whichever style or system the manager chooses to play.”
Nottingham-born Ford joined AFC Beeston having been at Long Eaton United for 10 years in the junior ranks and having also played for Toton Tigers and Attenborough Colts.