Remi Garrett will join the Bury Town party late, but he plans to leave a lasting impression on the Ram Meadow faithful after signing for the Blues.
The former Cambridge United scholar, who turned 21 last Thursday, is travelling in Thailand from June 23 until August 18 — meaning he will miss pre-season and up to Bury’s opening three fixtures of the campaign.
But after finally proving to himself and his doubters he could play up front by firing Ipswich Wanderers to promotion from the Thurlow Nunn League First Division with 32 goals in as many league games last season, Garrett plans on being in tip-top shape when he returns.
“I’m going to have a plan over there to keep myself really fit,” he said. “The plan is to get back, play two or three games for Team Bury for match sharpness and get into the first-team squad.
“I’m going to have to work really hard in Thailand, but hopefully the climate over there will help me.”
Garrett could have left Wanderers during last season, but decided to remain with the club after finally being given his chance in attack, having been frustrated at Brantham Athletic, Hadleigh United and Felixstowe and Walton United, where he was often asked to operate from the flanks.
“I was given the chance to play up top week in, week out and it was important to get Wanderers promoted,” said the front man, best friend of Bury left-back Seb Dunbar. “I knew if I carried on impressing and scoring goals I would have a few offers and Bury came back in at the end of the season.”
The Blues needed to act quickly and, by Garrett’s own admission, he almost moved to Ryman One North outfit AFC Sudbury before opting to join Dunbar at Ram Meadow.
“I was going to Sudbury, but the easy decision for me was to play as high as I can,” said Garrett, who indicated he turned down a better financial package from Bury’s rivals to sign for the Blues.
He also hailed the influence of Bury’s interim manager Ben Chenery, who hopes to be named the permanent boss after chairman Russell Ward has reviewed all applications in the week of June 16 and conducted interviews.
“Ben was a big reason I signed because it was done in my head I was going to sign for Sudbury, but I really want to develop and play as high as I can,” said Garrett.
The striker’s prolific scoring streak may have come at a much lower level — in the same league the Blues’ feeder side Team Bury play — but Garrett is undaunted by the jump of three leagues to the Ryman Premier.
“Defenders are going to be better, but I hope the better players around me will help me bring my game up,” he said. “I totally believe in myself.”