Ex-Carshalton Athletic winger Ricky Korboa wants to follow in the footsteps of Jamie Vardy as his career takes the next step at League One Northampton Town.
This summer, Korboa departed the Isthmian League Premier Division side after a six-year spell to join the newly-promoted Cobblers.
Joining a side four divisions above is a daunting task but Korboa has settled in quickly to life in the Football League.
He said: “When I first got there for the trial I was quite nervous, but the boys welcomed me very well.
“I didn’t know what to expect. It is not going to be easy is it? I’m making a jump up four leagues to a professional level where they are training every day. I just had to adapt to it.
“The more and more training sessions I took part in the more comfortable I started to feel. Then I started to perform the way I usually do.”
And perform he did, providing two assists on his debut in a League Cup tie against Championship side Cardiff before netting a goal on his league debut against AFC Wimbledon a week later.
Korboa said: “Everyone always wants to start off on the right foot and lucky for me that was the case.
“Going into that game, I know it was Cardiff, but I was going in full of energy just getting around the pitch doing what I needed to do. On the day it worked out for me.”
Northampton’s promotion from League Two last season came through the play-offs, after the regular season was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the Cobblers’ rocky start in England’s third tier, Korboa is confident the side will remain in the division and for him personally this season is about establishing himself as a Football League player.
He stated: “For myself, the aim is to just to get in the team. To stake my place in the team and when I do come on as a sub make sure I have a good impact.
“It is still early days. I know we’ve lost the last three but now it is just looking to the next game and making sure we get the three points and keep pushing on from there.”
It has been a long journey for the 24-year-old, who had become a staple in a Carshalton side that enjoyed great success in the past few years.
The Robins were crowned Isthmian Southern Division champions in the 17/18 season and a year later Korboa was named in the Premier Division’s team of the season.
When last season was formally abandoned on the 26th March, Carshalton were third in the table and winger Korboa had 16 goals to his name.
The Northampton new boy believes the side were more than capable of pushing for promotion, however he was destined to move on regardless of how the season finished.
He added: “Every season when we are playing, we look to win the league first and foremost but if that doesn’t work then promotion is the next best thing. If the season did not end, I reckon we would’ve got promotion.
“I think it was the right moment in my career to move on. I’ve always wanted to play football at a much higher level. It was time to push on and better myself as a player.”
Korboa was close to making the jump up to the football league back in 2017 when he was part of the first intake of the V9 Academy, a project started by Vardy to help non-league players earn professional contracts.
Although Korboa was unsuccessful at the academy he feels he learnt great deal from the experience.
He said: “I think it helped me, it put more drive in me to want to get to that next level.
“It was a good opportunity that Vardy allowed me to come and take part in that. You just want to follow in his footsteps.”
Northampton take on fellow newly-promoted side Plymouth Argyle this Saturday.
Featured Image Credit: Northampton Town Football Club