Jake Quickenden signing at Cornard United will be very different from Marcus Bent, says boss Tom Clark
Manager Tom Clark is confident singer and TV star Jake Quickenden will not prove to be another flash in the pan signing for Cornard United.
The 31-year-old is a household name having won Dancing on Ice in 2018, been a runner-up on I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2014 and twice been a contestant on the X-Factor; in 2012 and 2014.
It comes after former Premier League striker Marcus Bent was brought in by former manager Dave Childs in January. But the 41-year-old Surrey-based Sky TV pundit only ended up playing one game for the Ards.
In contrast, Clark believes Quickenden, who was released from Scunthorpe United’s youth set up and has played professionally in Australia, can become a key part of his team.
“He will be available most weeks for training and matches,” he said.
“His singing and entertainment work means there may be some Saturdays he can’t do and he could be unavailable for some training sessions but I feel a lot more confident with him living in Colchester than Marcus in Surrey.”
Thurlow Nunn League First Division North defences are set to have to be on their toes to cope with some nifty footwork next season with the Dancing on Ice star having been used to playing at higher levels of the non-league pyramid.
He has previously had spells at Yorkshire and Lincolnshire clubs Frickley Athletic, Bottesford Town and Ossett Town.
“He has not played for a couple of years other than charity games but his physical fitness is brilliant anyway,” said Clark, who revealed he did not have any connections with the squad and it was a case of reaching out to him on social media based on his location which instigated the move.
“He wants to get back into it and is chomping at the bit to get involved. Hopefully he will be a good addition.
“I think he is definitely a very capable player. He has had a few years out which is why I think he is happy to play at our level.”
But Clark said he will not be treating him any differently to other players when it comes to team selection.
“It will not be based on his name, it will be down to his performances in training and out on the pitch,” he said, also adding the whole squad, bar loan keeper James Askew, have been retained. Ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers youth ‘keeper Frank Webb, most recently with Harwich & Parkeston, he said, has also joined.
More by this authorRussell Claydon
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)