Joel Carta can’t wait to test himself in the Vanarama National League North after he signed for Kettering Town this week.
The Poppies made their second raid of the summer on Corby Town for the latest addition to their squad as the midfielder followed Connor Kennedy in swapping Steel Park for Latimer Park.
Carta was one of the stars of last season for the Steelmen as he scored 28 goals in all competitions after signing for them this time last year.
The 21-year-old has now been snapped up by Kettering as they prepare for life at a higher level following their Southern League Premier Division Central title success.
Carta made his debut in Tuesday’s 3-0 pre-season win at Barwell and is set to feature again tomorrow (Friday) night when the Poppies round off their first-team friendly programme against an Oxford United XI at Latimer Park.
“I’d been speaking to people at Kettering and, in particular, Luke Graham and I came to look at the set-up and I liked it,” Carta said.
“I also spoke to Connor about it all because he obviously made the move here from Corby as well.
“For me, it’s a step up two levels and it’s a chance for me to test myself and that’s what I want.
“Last season was great for me, not only because of what I did on a personal level but I learned a lot from experienced players like Elliot Sandy at Corby.
“Now I want to use all that and see what I can do at a higher level.
“It’s going to be tough but I am sure we will be able to hold our own against some big clubs in that division.
“I am just looking forward to settling in and then doing all I can to help Kettering at the new level.”
Carta, meanwhile, insists he will always be grateful to Corby for taking a chance on him last season.
The young midfielder was plucked from almost obscurity this time last year as he signed for the Steelmen after a successful trial during pre-season.
And he went on to be one of the stars of the season as he helped the Steelmen reach the Southern League Division One Central play-off final where they missed out on promotion after a dramatic 4-3 defeat at Bromsgrove Sporting.
“I’ve got nothing but good memories from last season at Corby and I will never forget them,” he added.
“We had a great team and it was just disappointing that we didn’t go up in the end.
“But I am just really grateful to them. They took a chance on me after I had been playing a couple of levels below them.
“It’s not always easy to put your faith in someone but Steve Kinniburgh and Ash Robinson did. I will always be thankful to them and the club for doing that."