MARINER SHAUN KEEN TO GO VAR

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Paul Ed­di­son

TEN goals in half a sea­son for FC Hal­i­fax Town saw Shaun Tu­ton la­belled as the next Jamie Vardy and earned him a move to Barns­ley but, six months on, he’s try­ing to reestab­lish him­self as a Foot­ball League player with Grimsby.

For Tu­ton, pic­tured right, it’s been a whirl­wind year – he only joined the Shay­men from EvoStik side Bux­ton in the sum­mer of 2015, but in the Na­tional League he made an im­me­di­ate im­pres­sion, scor­ing ten goals in 24 games, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Vardy – who was pro­lific at the West York­shire club in 2010-11.

That spell for Tu­ton was enough to get snapped up by Barns­ley, but while they went on a dream run last sea­son to go from rel­e­ga­tion strug­glers to the play-off win­ners, it meant chances were few and far be­tween.

Still, six months in the Foot­ball League showed Tu­ton ex­actly what it takes to crack it at this level, and he’s con­fi­dent he can de­liver with the Mariners af­ter join­ing on a sea­son-long loan on dead­line day.

Set­tled

The first task will be win­ning over man­ager Paul Hurst, and Tu­ton ex­plained that he’s set­tled in quickly.

“I got to Grimsby on Thurs­day so the first cou­ple of days were just about get­ting to know the guys,” he said.

“I got about eight or nine games for Barns­ley last sea­son off the bench, but some of them were only one or two min­utes so I want to get some game time now with Grimsby.

“I’ve spo­ken to the gaffer and he’s told me just to re­lax and en­joy my­self. I’ll be work­ing hard to make an im­pact as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“I only played five months at Hal­i­fax, and then moved to Barns­ley last Jan­uary.

“When I got there they had been strug­gling but they were just on the up and then they went on a great run, so it was hard to prove my­self.

“I’d been train­ing one morn­ing and two evenings a week so it was a bit of a shock go­ing full-time. But it’s re­ally helped my fit­ness and sharp­ness. “Train­ing full-time, I think that’s what my foot­ball was miss­ing. “It was a big step up from the Na­tional League to League One, def­i­nitely big­ger than from Evo-Stik. “But now that I’ve got used to it, I want some games.” Now 24, the com­par­isons with Vardy were ob­vi­ous. Both made their name in Non-League, in­clud­ing spells at the Shay, be­fore get­ting a shot in the Foot­ball League.

For some be­ing ‘The next Vardy’ would have been a tough tag to cope with, but Tu­ton be­lieves it has helped him.

“I used to fol­low him week in, week out with Hal­i­fax and he’d ob­vi­ously come from the lower leagues as well,” he added.

Con­fi­dence

“You keep an eye on what he’s do­ing in the Premier League but for me it’s not in­tim­i­dat­ing to be com­pared to him.

“It just gives me some con­fi­dence to know peo­ple are talk­ing about me like that, it helps me. Per­haps there was a lit­tle bit of pres­sure when I got to Hal­i­fax, peo­ple ask­ing who is this guy, but you have to deal with it.”

PIC­TURES: David Simp­son/TGS Photo

TRE­BLE-SHOOTER: Oliver Hawkins hit a hat-trick for the Dag­gers against Wrex­ham last week­end

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