Horley Town manager Anthony Jupp says it has been ‘an honour’ working with his star striker Ashley Nadesan who has left the Combined Counties team to play for League One club Fleetwood Town.
The talented 21-year-old has jumped up through several leagues into the professional ranks by signing a three-year deal.
Jupp reckons his player will keep his feet on the ground and stands out for his willingness to listen and improve.
He said: “It is not only great news for him but also for Horley Town. It’s been an honour to work with him.
“There are a lot of lads out there with natural ability but not many that listen and still want to learn and Ashley has that in abundance.
He’s a great lad to coach and manage. Ashley will be sorely missed by the club, team-mates and supporters.
“We wish him all the best at Fleetwood. They seem like a great club and have a lot of faith in Ashley. We as a club wanted him to make a good decision which I believe he has.”
Nadesan said: “I’m so happy, Fleetwood is a top quality club and I literally could not turn down the opportunity.
“They have opened up a new (£8.5m) training facility as well and I just can’t wait until the season starts and to start playing football again.”
And the striker praised his former club and manager Jupp for helping him hit the net 99 times.
“He said: “The past two seasons have been incredible. My (former) manager Anthony Jupp has played me where I wanted to which is sort of up front or out wide depending on the team.
“The team around me has played some quality football and put me through and helped me to get the 99 goals in two seasons that I did.
“It is a shame that I didn’t get the 100 but I will save that for Fleetwood!”
The McDonald’s worker has had trials at Town’s fellow League One outfit Millwall and Premier League side Norwich in April and was reportedly being tracked by Premier League winners Leicester City and Bournemouth.
But Nadesan has family in Blackpool and has opted to join Fleetwood and it is hoped he can follow in former Fleetwood player and title-winning Leicester forward Jamie Vardy’s prolific footsteps.
But the striker instead says he wants to be ‘the first Ashley Nadesan’ and is eager to score even more goals in the Football League.
He said: “Jamie Vardy is an inspiration, especially with what he has done people are trying to compare me to him but I don’t want to put that pressure on myself. I’d rather not be the next Jamie Vardy but the first Ashley Nadesan.
There was also interest from local League Two outfit Crawley Town for the young hotshot, but it seems they were priced out of a deal, along with the pull to play a division higher.
Reds head coach Dermot Drummy said: “We were close, but the fact he has gone to a division one side (shows his ambition). In fairness to Ashley, we wish him all the best coming from his journey, having the opportunity to go into division one was probably something we wanted. We were close, but not close enough.”
Proud Clarets’ chairman Mark Sale said: “We shall certainly miss him not just for the goals but because he is a really nice lad who has appreciated all the help everyone has given him and kept his feet firmly on the ground.”
“It is a special moment when a club like Horley Town sees one of our lads make a dream a reality and I doubt there is a prouder chairman at this moment anywhere.”
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