Forward Jamie Proctor on signing for UnitedUnited had to work hard to get a loan deal over the line for Jamie Proctor on deadline day, but a late trip up to Cumbria on Tuesday night brought a signature and a new challenge for the Bolton forward.
We spoke to him shortly after he'd completed the formalities on his half-season deal.
“I’m buzzing to get it done,” he said. “It’s happened quite quickly but deadline day is usually like that. I’ve never really been involved as dramatically as it has been today but I’m happy to be up here now.
“It’s a bit strange to be involved in it all but it is exciting. It’s a little bit worrying as well, because you aren’t sure what’s going to happen, but ultimately you’ve got a decision to make. I was fortunate enough to be in the position where I had a choice and I’m happy with my decision and, as I say, I’m glad that I'm here."
On the reasons behind his decision, he said: “I wanted to come here because it’s a successful team. The manager has played a big part in that. He’s created an environment that sounds like it will be one I’ll do well in.
"I wanted to come and play for something, as I was at Bolton. This is a successful team that is going for promotion and even though it’s the league below it was still something that attracted me. I wanted to come and play in a team that wants to get promoted. I want to play games and score goals and help us to achieve that aim.
“The league table did help me make my decision. It’s very tight up there at the moment but we’re in a great position and we’ve been up there all season. We want to stay in that top three. There are teams behind us who are chasing, but I’m here to do a job. Something that attracted me was that I want to come here and perform to hopefully keep us in that top three."
Part of the process of coming to that final decision to make the switch to Cumbria were the conversations he had with Keith Curle and Lee Dykes.
“I’ve had good talks with Keith and Lee," he confirmed. "I’ve also spoken to a few of the lads who I know who are here already.
"They had nothing but good things to say about the club. I know what sort of club it is and that it will be an environment I’ll do well in, which I’m really looking forward to.
“I always like a challenge, and the way the season has gone for me so far has made me even more hungry to get myself out there again and show everyone what I can do.
"The end of last season finished well for me, I was in the play-offs with Bradford and we were unlucky not to get promoted. To then start this season and for it to go the way it has - I just haven’t played as much as I’d have liked or as well as I’d have liked. Like I say, I just want to get back out there and show everyone what I can do."
On the experience he's gained with other loan deals, he said: “People say they always feel like I’ve been around a long time - it actually feels like that for myself, but I’m still only 24 which is relatively young for a striker. It feels like I need to get into something and achieve something and I'm hoping this is the place where I can go and do that.
“My move to Crawley was one that people looked at and said - why is he doing that? I was at Swansea, who were a Premier League side, and Crawley had just been promoted into League One. If felt right for me and I enjoyed my time there. I met some great people and I went through a stage where I was playing really well.
"I was enjoying my football and it was a happy time for me, and this feels similar to that so I’m hoping I can reproduce some of that form.
“Keith [Curle] was really positive about the move and what he sees me doing and it's important to feel needed by the manager and coaching staff. Most managers will tell you how wanted you are and how much they need you, because that’s the way they’re going to try and sign you, but it felt genuine here. Ultimately it’s down to me to show the manager and all the staff why they wanted to bring me in."
And on what the fans can expect to see, he said: “I’m hoping firstly that the fans will get goals from me. It hasn’t happened so far this season, but I’ve not played many times at all other than the odd substitute appearance.
"I’ll work hard and give everything in every performance I put in. I’ll hold the ball up and try and link the play and I’ll do what is needed of me to make sure I play in this team. I want to be successful personally, which will hopefully also mean the team is successful.
“I’m determined to do well here. I know the lads have been up there all season, they’ve worked so hard to get the club into the position they’re in, so I just want to enhance that to get us somewhere and achieve something.
“It’s exciting to be joining a team who are part of a promotion fight. We have three months left of the season so you know you’ll be fighting for something in every game. I could maybe have gone to a side where I would have gone and played a few games and got a few goals, but not really been fighting for anything. I think the whole scenario of coming in and having something to play for is the main reason I wanted to come here."
With the signatures done, the next part of the job was to meet the lads and start to bed into the framework of the squad.
“It’s been a busy day, but the sooner you get in and around the lads the better, because it settles you down straight away," he explained. "I know where I’m going to be and what I’m going to be doing for the next few months, whereas the last couple of weeks have been a little bit up in the air and I haven’t really known what was going to happen. I can relax now and focus on what needs to be done.
“There are a few familiar faces in the dressing room. I lived with Nicky Adams and Mike Jones for two years in Crawley. I’m still in good contact with them and they’re two of my good friends. It will be good to see them again.
“I’m based in the Preston area so that did help with my decision. Every player will tell you the logistics don’t always come into it too much, it’s more about what club is right for you at the time, but you do think about it a little bit.
"I’ve got a wife at home so I obviously want to be as close as possible. The logistics of that definitely helped, but it wouldn’t have mattered if this club was a lot further away from where I lived, because I got the right vibe. What we’re trying to do here is something I wanted to be a part of."
And on the positive reaction of the fans to his asrrival, he said: “It’s nice to hear that the fans wanted me to come here, especially when they probably haven’t seen too much of me.
"They probably don’t know what they’re going to get in terms of recent form, but it’s nice to know you are wanted and people expect things from you. I haven’t been able to show that to the Bolton fans this year, which is a shame.
"I ended last season so well and I was really looking forward to taking that form into this season. Things don’t always work out the way you want them to but I’m going to work hard now and get back to showing people why they do believe I can do well.
“The good thing with training on Wednesday and Thursday is that I’ve got a couple of days to be with the lads and show the manager that I’m ready for the weekend. Most clubs are usually off on a Wednesday, which isn’t the case here this week, so it gives me two good days of training before the weekend.”