Former-Wigan Athletic striker Sam Cosgrove teamed up with United for an initial ten-day trial period at the beginning of July and, having featured in five of the six friendly fixtures United played through the summer, was rewarded for his efforts with a half-season deal which keeps him here at Brunton Park until the beginning of January.
The big forward brings with him a wealth of loan experience, including two spells in the National League, and a hunger to do well at his new club as he looks to make a mark in the professional game.
“I’ve been here a while now and I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “I came for the Penrith game and managed to score in that, and I think that was just the kind of start I needed.
“It’s really gratifying to know you’ve worked hard through a trial spell and finally earned a contract at the end of it. I couldn’t have asked for much more from my time here.
“It was a good sign when I kept getting asked to come back in to train and things like that. I obviously scored in that first game against Penrith, which is always a good omen, and I just kept going from there.”
Having spent an extended period on trial we wondered what it was like to be out-of-contract but so close to a group of players who are preparing hard for the season ahead.
“It has been nerve-wracking because I haven’t known which way it was going to go, but I’ve enjoyed it at the same time,” he told us. “I’ve been playing football, which is what I want to do.
I’ve had a few chats with the manager since I signed and he’s told me what he expects from me in terms of being a big, tall, target man ...
“Day-to-day is has been a bit nervy, particularly when I’ve been wondering what’s going on, but at the end of it I’m happy to have got the contract. I’ve had a few chats with the manager since I signed and he’s told me what he expects from me in terms of being a big, tall, target man.
“He knows what he wants from me and I think I’m going to have to develop my game a bit around that. I’m definitely up for the challenge and I know I can be what he needs me to be. I’m at an age now where I’m ready to kick on.
“I came through the development squad at Wigan but I spent a lot of time out on loan playing men’s football. I’ve noticed the difference here with training every day and the intensity is really high. It’s been great to work in and around and I do feel ready to make that step up now.”
Speaking more about the loan spells he’s already enjoyed, he said: “I’ve had a couple of loan spells in the Conference, which is only one league below what we’re at here, so it’s similar.
“Men’s football is completely different to development football and I think that has put me in good stead ahead of my time here.
“I’ve kept my head down and got on with what I had to do. I was first known as Trialist D and I’ve worked my way up to being Trialist A, even though I know most of the fans have known who I was from the start!
“The fans have been excellent so far, they’ve followed us wherever we’ve been and I’m just looking forward to the start of the season now.”
And he’s coming into a dressing room which is well known for it’s positive atmosphere.
“I wouldn’t have even known the lads missed out on the play-offs last year because everyone is really up-beat,” he commented. “They’re a really good group of lads and everyone looks really up for it this season.
“I think I’ve integrated into the group already. The lads have been really good with me and all the other trialists and new players who have come here. Whenever a new player comes in everyone makes a real effort to make them feel welcome, which makes it easier because you can sometimes feel a bit nervous when you go to a new club.
“The lads have been absolutely brilliant with me. It was nice to come on against Blackburn in front of the fans and make a difference. I think I only played ten minutes or so but it was important to make an impact and help seal the win. It was a great feeling to set Shaun [Miller] up.
“I just want more of the same now. My targets for the next six months are just to play as much as I can. I want to hopefully get on the score sheet and help us to win points.
“I know what is needed and what is expected of me and I’ll just try and do as well as I can. I can’t wait for the season to start now.”
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