Liam Wales believes the AFC Sudbury supporters are set to see the best of him now he has been handed the chance to show what he can do as a leading man.
The 21-year-old turned the outcome of Monday’s showpiece friendly with Ipswich Town Under-21s on its head when he came off the bench to fire in two goals in a lethal cameo to put AFC 3-2 ahead from 2-1 down.
It proved the catalyst for the non-League outfit to go on to win 5-4 in a pulsating second half.
And after being given the opportunity to play as a striker this season, Wales is confident he can continue to display the golden touch he showed against the Championship club when he faces defenders in the Ryman League Premier Division.
“Last season I was on the wing and he (manager Jamie Godbold) felt and I felt that wasn’t really my position,” said the attacker. who signed from Bury Town ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, in which he scored 10 goals from 50 appearances.
“He wants me challenging Cally (Luke Callander) up front and I am a different type of player to him, so I can give him a different option.
“I feel I am a better player when I am playing up the middle chasing down defenders.
“In my younger days when I was 18 I was more of a striker, like when I was at Dereham, but when I was at Bury they played me mainly on the wing.
“I do prefer it as a striker but I have always had difficult competition there.”
Wales admits his future at the Ryman One North champions may have been in the balance, but he is ready to repay the faith shown in him when the season kicks off at home to Dulwich Hamlet a week on Saturday.
“I was on holiday at the time when people got released and it was perhaps 50/50 for me, but I was always confident in what I could do and I think Goodders knows what I can do, which is why he kept me on,” he said.
Godbold himself admitted: “We probably mis-used him last year as that’s his best position.
“He showed what he can do coming off the bench on Monday and being a real handful.
“He got us up the pitch and his finishing was outstanding.
“I am really pleased for Liam because I know he probably gets a bit of stick at certain times. But he is a terrific part of the squad and as he has shown, can be a real danger.””
AFC play their final pre-season friendly on Saturday when they travel to Ryman One North side Heybridge Swifts (3pm).