New Grimsby Town striker JJ Hooper has a point to prove after dropping down to League Two to join the Mariners, reports the Grimsby Telegraph.
The 23-year-old was once on the books of Premier League outfit Newcastle United but is now hoping to get his career back on track in the EFL’s bottom tier after an injury-hit campaign last time out.
Hooper started last season on the books of Port Vale but then-Valiants boss Bruno Ribeiro preferred to play the Greenwich-born forward out on the right wing.
This saw Hooper loaned out to Northampton Town for a ten-game spell, where he played under current Mariners assistant boss Paul Wilkinson.
But injury curtailed his spell with the Cobblers and he returned to action for Vale when Michael Brown took charge of the club in January.
A record of five goals towards the end of the campaign was not enough to save Vale from relegation and he was released from Vale Park in the summer.
Hooper had been training with the Mariners in recent weeks, completing a switch to Blundell Park ahead of Tuesday’s abandoned Carabao Cup tie with Derby County.
The striker told the Grimsby Telegraph: “I think I have a point to prove.
“The season didn’t finish how I wanted it to, but anything can happen in football and the target for me remains the same.
“If I do what I need to do, then who knows how far I can go.
“I’ve set myself a target, but I think I’ll keep that to myself, and then I’ll let you know if I hit it!”
He continued: “I definitely feel that if the other guys can provide for me, I’m sure I can score loads of goals for them and help the team this season.
“I’d say my finishing is my main attribute, but I can also run in behind well and use my pace, and my hold-up play and link-up play is pretty good.
“I’m excited for the challenge ahead, it looks like a good team and hopefully I can help them out and we can push on.
“I’ve got along with the boys really well, it’s a tight bunch and they’re cool.
“I think it was the manager that made the difference. He’s had a great career and I feel like he can really help me out with my career.
“I spoke to Sam Kelly about the club, and all he said were good things so it just made sense to come here.”
Hooper will be hoping to make his Mariners’ bow in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Coventry City at Blundell Park.