Liam's keen to show he still has what it takes at Kettering Town

The experienced defender is looking ahead after making his debut for the Poppies last weekend

Liam Daly admits a desire to play at a higher level was the driving force behind his decision to join Kettering Town.

The experienced centre-half completed a move to Latimer Park from Southern League Premier Central side Nuneaton Borough just under two weeks ago.

His first scheduled game for the Poppies - a home clash with Guiseley - was postponed but he marked his debut at Spennymoor Town by heading Kettering in front, only for the hosts to stage a second-half fightback to win 2-1.

Liam Daly is hoping his experience will prove useful for Kettering Town in the remainder of the Vanarama National League North season. Picture by Peter Short

Daly admitted he “loved” his spell at Nuneaton but the former Solihull Moors and Barnet defender is keen to show he still has what it takes at Step 2 and he believes Ian Culverhouse is the perfect manager for him to work under.

“I actually met the gaffer (Culverhouse) down at King’s Lynn at the start of this season and nearly signed there but obviously certain things stopped that happening then,” the Poppies defender said.

“The gaffer is someone I have wanted to work with for a while. He’s a calm person to be around but his detail is very good.

“It’s a great and young bunch of lads and me coming in there has taken the average up a bit!

“I loved my time at Nuneaton. I’ll be honest, I was ready to knock it on the head before then because I wasn’t enjoying my football and I didn’t get off to the start I wanted at Stourbridge.

“Jimmy Ginnelly gave me the opportunity at Nuneaton and I enjoyed it but when I got the phone call from Kettering I just felt I could still do it at that level and it was a no brainer when the opportunity came up.”

Last weekend’s loss at Spennymoor saw the Poppies drop down to 12th in the Vanarama National League North and they are now six points adrift of the play-off places as they gear up for another away game at Chester this weekend.

And Daly, who admitted he would already be open to staying with Kettering in the long-term, insists the Poppies still have a shot at finishing in the top seven, despite having now suffered two defeats in a row.

“I had a look at the fixtures when I signed and it looked like a tough run,” he added.

“We have got Chester this weekend so my first two games have both been away and then we have a spell of tough matches after that as well.

“It doesn’t get any easier in this league. It’s very competitive and teams have big budgets.

“When I looked at coming to Kettering, I saw a club who are still in the mix along with a number of others.

“Kettering have things that play into their hands. Teams don’t like going there and I hope my experience can help keep the lads on course. It would be brilliant for the club if we could nick one of the last places in the play-offs.

“From my point of view, it’s all down to me.

“I felt I played pretty well at Spennymoor and for me, it’s about chipping away and making sure my performances are where they need to be because, if all goes well, I’d like to have another go with them next season as well.”