Folkestone Invicta striker Ira Jackson is off to the home of the UK fishing industry, as he has signed a professional deal with Ian Holloway's Grimsby Town.
Ira moved to Invicta in January of last year, and at that point the jury was out on whether he was a striker or a winger, but seven goals in fourteen appearances- many of them cutting in from a wide position- saw him swap the number eleven shirt for the number nine during the 2019-20 campaign, and how he responded- scoring twenty six goals before the campaign came to a premature end.
Ira spoke of his gratitude to Invicta after signing a two year contract with the Mariners, making the following statement on social media:
"I would like to thank Folkestone Invicta for an amazing 18 months with the club! Neil Cugley, Edgy and Mev gave me a phenomenal platform to be able to show I was the player that I believed I was and worked so hard to be! There were a lot of firsts at this club and I will forever be grateful.
To the fans and to the players who have supported me on this journey of trying to reach a goal of becoming a professional footballer. Any young player that believes in their ability and wants a platform to show that and the right support, Folkestone Invicta is the best club to do that."
Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway, speaking to the club website, introduced Ira to his new supporters:
"He's a two-footed centre forward who scored a lot of goals last season. He's been concentrating on a degree at 23 years old and now he's finished that, he's going full-time.
He's had lots of choices but he's chosen us and I've chosen him so I am absolutely delighted at it. He gave me a really good time yesterday and I can't wait to work with him really, he can play anywhere along the front, on the right, in the centre or on the left, so as we lost Charlie and Billy, I need to bolster that area and he's of that age where I believe he will become a saleable asset to us."
Good luck Ira- we're sure you'll grasp this opportunity and light up League Two next season!
Image courtesy of the Grimsby Town website and taken by Sam Strandt.