Shay Facey says he knew it was time to make the break from Manchester City and step out into a new footballing world with the Cobblers.
The 23-year-old spent 14 years at the Etihad Stadium, working his way through the academy and youth ranks to signing a professional deal.
I don’t see these first six months as a bedding in period or anything like that, I want to come here and make an impact. I want to become a force to be seen in the teamCobblers defender Shay Facey
Despite his efforts to carry on progressing, that first team debut proved elusive for the Stockport-born defender, and he says that it was some time ago he came to terms with the fact his future lay away from life with the runaway Premier League leaders.
Facey had been out on loan at three different clubs in New York City, Rotheram United and Heerenveen to gain senior match experience in recent seasons, but still he found himself well down the pecking order at City, with Pep Guardiola splashing plenty of serious cash as he makes his bid for European football domination.
Facey signed an 18-month deal with the Cobblers last week, deciding to join the club after spending a month training with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s squad, and he made an impressive debut in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Southend United.
He won the sponsors’ man of the match award to get his Town career off to more or less the perfect start, and although there is a tinge of regret he couldn’t make it at the Etihad, he is delighted to start a whole new chapter in his career at Sixfields.
“I had gone the loan route, with not being ready to step into the Premier League with Manchester City at the time,” said Facey, who turned 23 on Sunday.
“That doesn’t seem to have been my path unfortunately, to make the grade at City.
“But we had talks in the summer about potentially moving then, and that didn’t happen for various reasons, but now is the time.
“The club have been really good in helping me get here, and they allowed me to come here in the early part of December to get a bit of bedding in time, so it’s been really good.”
Facey made the switch to Town for an undisclosed fee, which is a show of faith in him by Hasselbaink and the club, as is the 18-month contract, and he hopes to start repaying that faith in him immediately.
“I hope to get a flying start, and to get playing consistently at a good level as soon as possible,” said Facey, who is set to keep his place in the Town starting line-up for Saturday’s trip to Bradford City.
“I don’t see these first six months as a bedding in period or anything like that, I want to come here and make an impact. I want to become a force to be seen in the team.”