On-song Kendal Town striker Danny Mitchley hitting right notes and retaining lofty ambitions (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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On-song Kendal Town striker Danny Mitchley hitting right notes and retaining lofty ambitions
With Kendal Town looking to be box office this season, step forward their attacking star turn who premiered on opening night and has been centre stage ever since.
Former Bloomfield Road hitman Danny Mitchley has netted 11 times so far this term with his goalmouth antics propelling him to the summit of the league’s scoring charts.
After dragging the Mintcakes level during their first fixture of the campaign at Mossley’s Seel Park, the 24-year-old’s hot run of form peaked during a six-match goal spree.
Despite firing of few blanks of late, the penalty box predator was back in business this week, on target against Warrington Town and fuelling his appetite for the striking limelight.
Having endured a transient existence since his release from Blackpool in June 2010, Mitchley feels right at home at Parkside Road and is relieved those nomadic days are over.
“As soon as I came to Kendal I was made to feel welcome straight away and it was easy for me to settle – it helped I scored a few goals last year in a short space of time,” he said.
“I’m really pleased with the start to the season I’ve had as it’s always good as a striker to score goals, especially as I’ve not had too much luck before I came here.
“Over recent years I’ve found games and goals hard to come by so to play week in, week out has been good for me and allowed me to show what I can do.
“I don’t really set targets, I just go out every game trying to score like any good striker should and luckily I’ve got 11 so far.
“And that reflects the strength of the team and the squad too, because whoever I’ve played with up front we’ve managed to get on and play to each other’s strengths.”
After a prolific spell with Blackpool’s youth and reserve teams, Mitchley signed his first professional contract with the Seasiders in March 2008.
Later that year, he made his Tangerines debut as a late second-half substitute for Gary Taylor-Fletcher in a 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace in a Championship fixture.
And under then manager Simon Grayson it looked as though the young forward was being primed for a sustained period of senior duty.
However, when his time in the full-time game was up two years later, factors outside his control meant he had only clocked up a handful of first-team appearances.
Stints at Burscough, Mansfield Town, Nuneaton Town and Marine followed before the Liverpool-born marksman joined Kendal from Altrincham last season, initially on loan.
Although appreciating the benefit of settled surroundings, Mitchley still retains the drive and ambition to one day have another crack at the glitz and glamour of the professional game.
“I’ve been out the full-time game for a few seasons now but my aspirations are to get back because that’s ultimately what I want to do,” he added.
“I work now as well as playing but full-time sport is where everyone that loves football wants to be and that will always be at the top of my list.
“But at the minute I’m relishing the opportunity to play every game, a chance I obviously didn’t get when I played full-time football.
“When I was 18 I’d done well in the youth team, scored a few goals and impressed the Blackpool manager at the time.
“With injuries and a change in the dugout things never worked out for me but it was always good to be around the first-team at such a high level.
“Some experienced players, including Danny Coid, helped me a lot and if there was any chance of getting back to that level I would like to work towards it.”
Mitchley’s desire to test himself against opponents from higher office will come sooner rather than later, with Kendal in FA Trophy action this weekend.
The black and whites travel to Kellamergh Park to face Evo-Stik Premier Division leading lights AFC Fylde, with the importance of the fixture not lost on the club’s top-scorer.
“Fylde are doing well in the league above,” he said. “I played against them last season when they beat us and it was tough.
“They are a very decent team but with the side we’ve got, if we play to our best, I don’t see why we can’t progress.
“It’s a big trophy for the lads, the club and the fans and we’ll be giving our all. Hopefully we’ll perform to our capabilities and come away with something.”
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