DAVID’S READY TO TAKE ON GOLIATHS
WHILE Daniel Sturridge is eyeing a Premier League title with Liverpool and a World Cup spot with England this summer, all his former strike partner David Ball is craving is life in League One.
Fleetwood’s Ball used to partner Sturridge when the pair were coming through the ranks at Manchester City.
As a duo they lifted the FA Youth Cup, but while former Chelsea forward Sturridge has moved from one elite club to the next, for Ball it has been a different story.
A loan deal to Swindon was followed by a permanent switch to Peterborough and then a brief return up north to join Rochdale temporarily.
However, much like his former teammate, the 24year-old has finally found a club that has allowed him to flourish.
His eight league goals prior to the Easter weekend have helped the Cod Army to lofty heights in League Two. And while Sturridge looks set to be celebrating come May, Ball insists his own return to form is reason enough to cheer.
“I had a good strike partnership with Daniel and I think there’s some similarities in what has happened to us really,” says Ball.“He’s finally found the right club for himself and got a manager who believes in him and it’s the same with me.
“I’ve got a manager (Graham Alexander) who has faith in me and I’m starting to develop into a much better player. I’ve started to mature as a player which has taken a little bit longer than I would have liked because I haven’t had that steady base.
“When I was at City with Mark Hughes I made the bench a few times but it hampers you because you need to play to improve.
“I still keep in contact with a lot of the lads because we had some great times together and won the FA Youth Cup. But I should probably have made the drop earlier because not playing hampers your development.”
Automatic promotion may look out of Fleetwood’s reach, but Ball says he’s not giving up hope and has one eye on his side’s clash with Chesterfield on the final day which could yet prove pivotal.
The prospect of playing in League One next season is one that Ball relishes as the start of a journey that could see him lining up against his former partner.
“Everyone wants to play at the highest level and I’m no different,” he added.“I think I can keep improving and go from strength to strength, I’ve played in League One and the Championship and scored goals at every level I’ve been at. “It’s down to us to get a run together and pick up the wins we need to push Chesterfield all the way.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t get the right results and when we go into the match against Chesterfield we would like to be in a position where we are ahead of them. “That match might prove vital but, to be honest, all of the last few games are cup finals for us and we have to have that mentality.”
HAVING A BALL: David scores for Fleetwood. Inset Daniel Sturridge celebrates an England goal