Fleetwood's latest signing, Ryan Cresswell, has expressed his delight after securing a move to Highbury from Town's League 2 rivals Southend United and says he will do all he can to help the club achieve promotion this season.
The Rotherham-born centre half was named in the PFA League 2 Team of the Year last season and finished second in Southend's Player of the Year poll – playing a prominent role in the club's route to Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He also played over 50 games for the Essex club.
The in demand 25-year-old, who started his career at Sheffield United, also has experience from his time at Rotherham United and Bury.
The defender spoke before his debut against Coventry City when he made a full 90 minute debut.
“I think it is a good move at the right time and the club's going in the right direction. I think as soon as I got on board I knew it was a great move for me.” Cresswell said
“I think I bring passion, aggression, I like to think of myself as a dominating centre-half that wears my heart on my sleeve. I think those qualities will be there for everyone to see and I look forward to working hard for this club and getting it where it wants to be, which is promotion.”
Cresswell insists he is looking to replicate the form that saw him named in the back four of the PFA League 2 Team of the Year, but said it isn't an individual effort, but a team effort.
“Last season I played 50 plus games for Southend and I got the merit for being in the Team of the Year, which was a fantastic achievement for myself. I will be looking to replicate that this season and I think if I am doing well, it will be because Fleetwood are doing well and that's the aim for everyone.”
Cresswell featured in both games against Fleetwood last season, and looking back over his new club's first season in the Football League, the defender says that Town handled themselves very well and will be able to go to the next level with the signings Graham Alexander has made this summer.
“They (Fleetwood) came up and they showed good signs of maturity in the way they played and they got points on the board nice and early. I think they pitted away at the end and I think that's why the manager is here now to push them on to the next level. With the signings he has made over the summer, that is the key and I am looking forward to getting into this.”
Fleetwood's latest recruit will be no stranger in the dressing room either. He has played with a number of the Town players from his time at different clubs and says he has enjoyed his first day on the Fylde Coast whilst also admitted he is looking forward to linking up with fellow Yorkshireman Jon Parkin.
“I have played with (Gareth) Evans, Stephen Jordan came to Rotherham for a short period of time and I played with Scott (Davies) at Morecambe a few years back. The lads welcomed me in today and it has been a good first day.
“He's a good lad. I have heard good things about him and we look forward to travelling together and I am sure we will have a good time a long the way.”
Back in 2008, Cresswell went on a short loan spell to Hungarian side Ferencváros whilst he was a youngster at Sheffield United, and looking back on the opportunity, he says he has no regrets after opting to stay in England and kick starting his career with Bury instead – saying he would not be where he is today if he had made the move abroad.
“I had arranged to sign for them (Ferencváros) on a 12-month loan, and I cut it short because I had interest from League 2 clubs over here so I thought at the time it would be the wrong move for me to take it.
“I think if the options of playing league football in England weren't there I would have gone for their 12-months, but it was too good to down over here and look where I am today and I am not looking back on it.”
Alexander's ninth summer signing will come into the Fleetwood team with a full pre-season under his belt with Southend, and reflected on a hectic day which ended with Town chairman, Andy Pilley, selling the club to his latest signing.
“It's gone well (pre-season), I have done a full pre-season with Southend. They have gone on a trip to Madrid at the minute and I got pulled at the last minute saying that Fleetwood's bid had been accepted.
“I was over the moon and I shot straight up here and spoke to the chairman. As soon as I spoke to him and saw his ambition and drive, for everyone that has seen him at Fleetwood, I think it is a massive selling point. I walked away, shook his hand and the deal was done.”
Fleetwood have two more pre-season matches until the season kicks off against Dagenham & Redbridge a week on Saturday. Town host Coventry City at Highbury and will also travel to Southport on Saturday before the big kick-off and Cresswell is hoping to get some game time before the new season gets underway.
“The gaffer asked me and I would love to be involved in the games, so hopefully I can get as many minutes under my belt and I look forward to the start of the season.”