Matty Kosylo is confident he can make the step-up after joining Halifax from Nantwich Town.
The 23-year-old was crowned young player of the year and was named in the team of the year in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League - the division below the Conference North, where Halifax play this term.
Kosylo scored 14 goals as Nantwich finished 15th in the table and reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, where they were knocked out by Halifax.
The winger is under no illusions about the step-up in quality he will be playing against this season, but isn’t fazed by the challenge.
“I’ve played at this level before but it’s going to be a really strong division,” he said.
“You’ve got Stockport, FC United, Salford, Fylde and Kidderminster, as well as Halifax.
“But Halifax have seen something in me that I can play at this level and maybe higher.
“I’m not worried about the step-up. I’ve got no doubts over my ability.
“We’ve got a strong squad and I think we’re going to do well.
“The manager knows what he wants and how he wants to play in terms of tactics, and that makes things much easier when you’ve got a manager who has a way of playing.”
Kosylo trained with Crewe last Christmas, but he was told the club didn’t have any money in their budget to sign him.
He also trained with Rochdale a couple of months before the end of last season and was told they would be interested in signing him on a free transfer, but Nantwich wanted a fee for him
“I’m hoping to get a lot of games (at Halidfax) but that’s down to my performances,” said Kosylo, who also works as a tutor in NVQ and BTEC qualifications at an education company in Bury.
“If I’d joined Rochdale people might have said I’ve jumped up a long way and can I cut it at that level.
“I think it might have restricted my progress moving that high up the divisions, so I’m not seeing it as a negative.
“No disrespect to Nantwich, because they’re a really well run club, but it’s a massive jump to join Halifax, who are a former league club.
“They’ve paid a fee for me so it’s up to me to repay that faith they’ve shown.”
Kosylo began his career at Stockport County when they were in League One and was given a professional contract under Gary Ablett.
But he was frozen out under Paul Simpson and didn’t even play in the reserves.
He then had a nomadic spell playing for the likes of Ashton United, Vauxhall Motors, Hyde and Droylsden before his career took off at Nantwich.
“It wan’t great when I first started there but the manager Phil Parkinson brought a good atmosphere to the team and we all worked for each other,” he said.
“He really helped me with my confidence and he was a good man-manager.
“Up until I got injured around October time I was doing really well.
“I picked up a toe injury which stayed around for the rest of the season and has only just cleared up recently.
“It kept me out for a couple of months and when I came back my form was a bit stop-start.
“In my first game back against Salford I picked up a groin strain but I played through it, which I’d like to think shows that I’m a player who always gives 100 per cent and doesn’t hide away from things.
“I played well against Dover and Halifax in the FA Trophy. I didn’t score as many as I would have liked.
“I said I wanted 20 goals but my injury hampered my chances a bit.”