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Vela: The gaffer wants me to be a leader and that's what I'll aim to be

8 June 2022

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New signing Josh Vela sat down with the club for his first interview at Poolfoot Farm shortly after agreeing to join the side at the end of his current contract.

Vela - who became the club's second signing of the summer after Shaun Rooney on Wednesday afternoon - brings valuable experience to the side having played over 250 times throughout his career, with the majority of those games being played at Sky Bet League One level.

Here's what Josh had to say in his first interview:

On the move to join the Cods...

"I'm looking forward to the move, it's been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks now and after meeting the manager [Scott Brown] today, I can't wait to get going. The gaffer was a big draw because of the position and how he played during his career, he's a legend in Scottish football and he's got every chance of being a good manager.

"It's his first job and I think everyone will be behind him straight away from the players, to the fans, and hopefully we can all come together and have a good season as a town and a team. I've always played well against Fleetwood [Town] to be fair and have scored a couple of goals and I know that there is a good setup and side here on the coast.

"I did a few fitness sessions here at Poolfoot before I joined and you can't believe how good the site is. It's a great setup here, it's what you would expect from a Championship club, so it's got the makings of being a great club so, hopefully, we can have a good season, push on, and make our way up the league." 

On what is expected of him at Fleetwood...

"I'll bring energy to the middle of the pitch and some aggression as well; I told the manager when we got together that I should be nicking a few more goals so I will be trying to add to that part of my game and I believe that he will be able to help me with that having been a midfielder himself. 

"The gaffer wants me to be a leader as I am an experienced player at this level and I know what it's all about so I'll come here looking to lead by example both on and off the pitch, whether that be in training or just by being with the squad. 

"I've always seen myself as one of the younger players in the squad, but I've come into this role as a more experienced player as I'm 28 now so my goal is to be a leader and a role model to the younger lads, teach them the right ways of going about things and, as I've said, there are some good young players here and we expect a good season ahead."

On the squad and how he will benefit them...

"We've got a young team full of good players and, as I've said, I know this level from past experiences so I can pass what I know down to them. I know what it takes to be successful in this league as I've been promoted from it before and have been in battles at the other end of the table as well. 

"Hopefully, we can take all these experiences and push on together by working our way up the league come the start of the season. The lads did well to stay up last year and that experience will stand them in good stead for the upcoming season and I'll be there to help them every step of the way.

"I've had two good seasons at Shrewsbury Town in the last couple of years and that showed me that this is a tough league, where you play Saturday-Tuesday and it's tough. There are some big teams in this division now as well like Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich [Town] so going to places like that will be good experiences for all involved." 

Watch Josh and the Cods play at Highbury next season!

Make sure you are in the stands to watch Vela and the Cods during the 2022/23 Sky Bet League One season by getting your very own Onward Card. They go on sale on Monday 13 June, with adult tickets starting at just £14.17 a month and Under-16s from just £1.92 a month. Details on this season's cards are HERE.

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