He may have been a late addition to the squad, but Chris Maguire was in Lee Clark’s sights from the early summer months. With both Chairman and manager flying to Aberdeen to speak to the player, their trip north certainly made a good impression on the Shakers summer signing.
“I had a lot of things going on over the summer, but the Chairman and the manager flew up to Scotland to meet me,” said Maguire. “From that meeting, we kept in touch over the summer and I let them both know with what was happening with myself before we took it over the line.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a Chairman and manager flying to Scotland and knocking on my door but, obviously, that showed me that they were keen to get me on board, plus I liked what was said to me when I spoke to them and, obviously, the way they are trying to take the club forward. It suits me.”
As with many other signings over the summer, the ambition of the club and the Chairman have been at the forefront of any negotiations with potential signings, and it was no different for the former Oxford United player.
“The ambition of the manager sold it to me.” stated the Scot. “You can see that with the backing that the Chairman has given him. He’s been allowed to go out and get the players that he wanted to bring to the club. He’s managed in the Championship before and, obviously, that is the aim of the club, to get out of this league and move forward. That’s where I want to be, plus for me, it’s a little closer to home.
“You can see the ambition as soon as you walk into the training ground. The facilities on hand are great. I’ve been at some big clubs, and not many big clubs have facilities as good as Carrington. It’s a good place to come into day in day out and, with the facilities that we have got, we’ve got no excuses and we can take it onto the pitch.”
As he did arrive late into the Shakers pre-season, Chris could be considered some way off the fitness shown by the rest of his new team-mates, but Chris was quick to respond by saying he wasn’t that far behind.
“I was a little behind the lads in terms of pre-season when I came in, but I wouldn’t say it was too much,” he said. “There are little aspects that I know myself that I can improve on. That may take maybe a couple of more weeks to get that little sharper, but Jim Henry has taken a look at me and is getting me in earlier to get work done. Touch wood, it’s so far, so good but it will soon come with the games coming thick and fast from Saturday.
“Football is one of those jobs where, wherever you go, everybody has been in the same situation before and as soon as you go to a new club, you’re made to feel welcome and it’s no different here.”
Obviously, with a new season around the corner, and a new look squad eager to claim one of the eleven shirts for the opening game with Walsall, Chris didn’t mention whether one of those shirts would have his name on, but instead simply stated that points on the board was the only aim.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday now, pre-season games are all about getting fitness and getting things out the way, but the real stuff starts on Saturday. We want points on the board straight away and then kick on.
“We don’t know what type of game to expect as it’s always difficult to gauge the opposition in the first few weeks of the season. It will take a few games before we can sit back and take a look at the league and see who is having a good go at it. It’s early days but, obviously, we want the three points as quick as we can.”