LUKE Ingram has taken inspiration from Tom Bullard and Sam Nunn in his bid to fill the void left at Bury Town by a dearth of new signings.
The 19-year-old midfielder is set to get his opportunity to shine in the early weeks of the season after a frustrating pre-season for the Blues that has seen just back-up goalkeeper Will Viner join.
But West Suffolk College graduate Ingram believes Bury’s smaller squad is closer than ever and can still achieve the Ram Meadow-based outfit’s goal of promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division.
“Everyone has to get their opportunity at some point, like Tom Bullard or Sam Nunn, and look at what they have gone on to achieve,” said Ingram, who hopes to be involved in the Blues’ season opener at home to Carshalton Athletic tomorrow (3pm).
“Hopefully I can get that opportunity and reach the same levels as those two because they are now the heart and soul of the team.”
Ingram made just one start and nine substitute appearances for Bury last season, but spent time on loan at AFC Sudbury and Hadleigh United.
And the teenager believes the confidence gained from that regular first-team action can inspire him to be a force for parent club Bury.
“Hopefully I can do enough when I come on to warrant a few starts,” he added. “There are so many scenarios that can give you your break — I just have to make sure I’m in the best shape and mental state to make a difference.
“I want to try and compete with the likes of John Kennedy and Lee Reed for a place.”
Ingram believes the spirit within the Bury squad can take them far and praised the support network of players that has helped bring through a number of youngsters over the years — the most recent being highly-rated Connor Hall.
“People like Tom Bullard, Mark Coulson and John Kennedy are so supportive — they make our time here so much more pleasant than at other clubs,” he said. “We would all love to be pushing for promotion and I personally don’t think the squad has got any weaker.
“With everyone being closer together, team spirit will take us a long way.
“We would be delighted to be in the play-offs again, but we want to be in that automatic promotion spot and I believe we are more than good enough to get there.”
Bury also travel to Thurrock on Tuesday.
n Bury Town fixtures poster on Page 125