New signing Shay Facey has promised Cobblers fans he will do his best to bring ‘positive energy’ and ‘a winning mentality’ to Sixfields after signing from Premier League giants Manchester City.
Facey has been snapped for an undisclosed fee in a move that has brought an end an 11-year stint at the Etihad Stadium for the 22-year-old, although he failed to make a first-team appearance for the club.
I think I am somebody who brings a positive mindset and a winning mentality, and I think that is something that can only help the teamCobblers defender Shay Facey
He has played senior football in loan spells with New York City in the MLS, with Rotherham United in the Sky Bet Championship and also with Heerenveen in the top flight of the Dutch League.
His senior game-time has been limited, but Facey has also played for England at all levels from Under-16 to Under-20, and has turned out plenty of times for City’s Elite Development Squad.
You don’t do that without having ability, and what Facey lacks in experience, he intends to make up for with a sheer enthusiasm and will to win.
He is determined to hit the ground running at Sixfields, and asked if he believes he can have an immediate impact on the struggling Cobblers, Facey responded: “Definitely.
“I think I am somebody who brings a positive mindset and a winning mentality, and I think that is something that can only help the team.
“With recent results and where we are right now, I think we need a lift and some personalities to come in, and some fresh faces with ambition.
“We need positive energy around the place and I think I am somebody who can do that, or at least that’s the plan, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Facey is already integrated into the Cobblers squad.
He has been training with the team since the beginning of December with an eye on this January transfer window switch, and he has loved every minute of it.
Facey is ‘good friends’ with Town loan striker Chris Long, with the pair playing together for England and also against each other in the Under-21 League, with Long at Everton and Facey at City, and that has definitely helped him settle in.
“It has been brilliant,” said the Stockport-born defender. “I have been here just over a month now and I have enjoyed it, so I am looking forward to getting started.
“I knew a few of the guys on arrival through England squads, so they welcomed me with open arms, and the manager the staff and everybody else has been really friendly. I have no complaints.”
Like this week’s other new signing, Hildeberto Pereira, Facey was an admirer of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink the player when he was a kid growing up, remembering watching him ‘blasting the ball into the goal from anywhere’.
And he has also been impressed by Hasselbaink the manager, and says he is keen to repay the faith the Dutchman has shown in him by bringing him to the Cobblers.
“The manager has been quite serious and he has made it clear that I have to get my head down, work hard, and win my place in the team,” said Facey.
“I am just trying to prove that I can come here and be an important player for him in his team.”
Facey hasn’t played a competitive match since January, when he was a second-half substitute in Heerenveen’s 4-3 defeat at PSV Eindhoven, but he is confident he is ready for action after a more than a month of hard training with the Cobblers.
“It has been a while since I played, but I am bang on now I hope,” he said.
“It’s just about getting minutes, because you can be as fit as you like in training, in a game situation it is completely different.
“So I am looking forward to getting 90 minutes under my belt, and kick on from there.”
And is he ready to play on Saturday if he gets the call to take on Southend United at Sixfields?
“Of course I am, with whatever Jimmy decides to go with,” he said. “If I’m not on the pitch from the start, I’ll be ready on the touchline waiting to go on.”