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Sands would love to be Canvey legend
HIGHLY-rated striker John Sands says he would love to become a Canvey legend after sealing a shock move for an undisclosed fee to the island club.
The 26-year-old, who is set to make his debut against Grays tonight, has long been a target for league clubs but elected to join non-league Gulls after things went sour for him at Bury Town.
And although he admits his dream is still to play in the pro game Sands says he does not see Canvey as just a stepping stone for his ambitions.
“I think every footballer wants to play at as high a level as possible, and I’m no different,” said the striker, whose previous suitors include League One play-off hopefuls Brentford and Conference National leaders Cambridge United.
“And John Batch (Canvey’s director of football) and Danny Heale (first-team manager) said they will not stand in my way if the right offer comes along.
“But I am here to play my best football for Canvey and to score a load of goals. I’m fully focussed on doing well for Canvey.
“I think I am going to be happy here and if I end up spending my best years here and becoming a Canvey legend, then that would be great.”
Sands also prompted interest from Conference National side Woking and Ryman Premier heavyweights Lowestoft Town after putting in a transfer request last week.
The ex-Mildenhall Town forward was the Ryman Premier’s Golden Boot in the last campaign with 27 goals for a Bury Town side who just missed out on the play-offs by four points, and was a firm fans’ favourite at Ram Meadow before deciding to move on.
He said: “I had some interest from a few league clubs in the summer and I wanted to move on then for a fresh challenge.
“What happened at Bury was I had the opportunity to go on trial but they were worried about who would pay me if I got injured.
“So it did not happen and I knew then it was the right time for me to move on.
“Then I went on the transfer list and spoke to Danny (Heale) and John Batch and the move seemed right. They’re good guys and it’s an ambitious club. I think we can get promoted this season.”
Sands is no stranger to Essex with family in Basildon and Chelmsford, and he has moved from East Anglia to near Stansted with his young family.
And he is well known to fans at the Prospects Stadium too, having bagged the only goal of the game in a win for Bury on the island in January.
He said: “I’ve been called all sorts of things — I’ve been called raw, but maybe that’s because I play with a bit on an edge.
“If anyone wants to get a bit of an idea about how I play someone has put together video of some of my goals on YouTube!
“But one thing I will always do is give 100 per cent and hopefully I can make a good impression with the Canvey fans quickly.”
Sands is likely to start against Grays tonight in a county cup tie which kicks-off at 7.45pm.
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