Jordan Turnbull is prepared to be shot at as Salford gun for promotion in a season the defender hopes will also end in success for academy team-mate Luke Shaw down the road at Manchester United.
The Ammies have enjoyed a breakneck rise from the Northern Premier League Division One North to League Two since the well-documented takeover by the ‘Class of 92’ and billionaire Peter Lim in 2014.
Salford have lofty ambitions but swift progress through the leagues has stuttered since making it into the EFL, having finished 11th in their first season in the fourth tier before coming home eighth last term.
City were just two points short of a play-off spot after a topsy-turvy 2020/21 season in which Graham Alexander, Richie Wellens and Gary Bowyer all had stints as manager.
Bowyer now has the job on a permanent basis and Turnbull, who joined the club from Northampton last summer, is ready to kick on amid the pressure that comes with playing for high-profile Salford.
“First and foremost, the reason why I joined this football club was to propel straight back up to League One (with them),” he told the PA news agency. “Hopefully we can do that this season.
“We were all hoping we could do it last season, but this season won’t be too bad. That’s what we’re all aiming towards.”
Asked if he relishes the challenge of being a side teams want to beat, Turnbull said: “Yeah, of course I do personally. I think the team do as well.
“We’re well aware of that. Teams go out not exactly like that little bit much harder to try and beat us but they certainly want to get one up on us.
“I’m not sure why, probably maybe because the club is so well out there.
“Everyone’s well aware of the owners, how the club come about and whether people agree with what’s gone on in previous seasons or not.
“Obviously we’re well aware of that and every game is the same for us, we go out there to win every game, so it doesn’t bother us too much.”
The ambitious club is part owned by Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and David Beckham – United greats that Turnbull grew up looking up to.
Now one of the Old Trafford giants’ biggest stars is an old friend, having come through the Southampton academy with United and England left-back Luke Shaw.
“It’s incredible, really,” Turnbull said of his rise. “I think that from a young age you could obviously see he was special. A very special talent.
“Quickly went into the first-team, broke through and got his move to Man United – being a Man United supporter as well, I was buzzing.
“I’ve been able to keep in contact with him and go and watch a lot of games.
“Now I’m up here as well I’ve been able to see him quite often so it’s been brilliant.
“Well advertised his downtimes at Man United and he’s managed to come through that with flying colours and one of our best plays in the Euros.
“It’s fantastic what he’s doing and long may that continue.”
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