New signing keen to repay the faith shown in him by Paul Cox.
New signing Liam Hearn wants to repay the faith shown in him by manager Paul Cox, who fought off stern competition to bring the highly-rated talisman to One Call Stadium.
Hearn, who becomes our third summer signing following the arrival of centre-back Luke Jones and striker Alex Fisher, admits he thought his chances of joining us were over.
The 28-year-old was close to signing for us last summer having recovered from a ruptured achilles tendon, before he suffered a cruciate injury midway through last term.
Despite his injury troubles, Hearn still averaged almost one goal every other appearance during a three-year spell with former employers, Grimsby Town.
Shortly after putting pen-to-paper on a deal with us, Hearn said: “I’ve known the gaffer for a long time and I had my heart set on coming here last season, but it didn’t materialise.
“This season I thought it would never happen due to my [cruciate] injury, but the gaffer has shown huge faith in me. We’ve got a deal sorted and now I’m here.
He added: “The gaffer has obviously re-iterated to a lot of people the interest he’s shown in me and how much faith he’s got in me. When a manager does that, it makes you want to play under him and do well for him.”
Hearn, who hails locally from Bulwell, began his career at Hucknall Town just over a decade ago, and was the leading marksman at Watnall Road with 16 goals in the 2003/04 campaign.
The Yellows won the Northern Premier League that season, the equivalent level to what the Conference North is now, but they were denied promotion due to ground-grading issues.
Hearn eventually moved on from Watnall Road and had spells at Quorn, Chasetown and Eastwood Town – where he linked up with our present manager for the first time.
“When I signed for Eastwood I hadn’t played for a long time and it was difficult for me to come straight in, because they were going through a kind of transitional period,” continued Hearn.
“I feel that we’ve always kept a bond and kept in contact and I want to prove him right for having his faith in me.
“Everyone will know you have good days and bad days like most managers, but the one thing I like about him is you get what you see. He won’t lie to you. He’ll tell you how it is.
“As a player, you appreciate that and it’s what you need sometimes.”
Despite his injury setbacks in the last couple of seasons, the striker, who also scored 45 goals in 76 outings during a three-year spell at Alfreton Town, says he is now injury-free.
“I’m fine. I’ve done a lot of work with the physio (Chris Bowman) in the summer and he’s really pleased with my rehabilitation,” added Hearn.
“Through working with him I’ve gained a better understanding of the injury what I’ve had. Hopefully, I’m looking forward to having an injury-free year and being in the best condition that I can be.”