Prolific Aaron Martin insists that his best is still to come following Harrogate Town move
Aaron Martin insists that he is only going to get better and better following his Harrogate Town switch.
Two prolific spells further down the non-league pyramid earned the 28-year-old striker a five-figure move to the National League title-chasers shortly before the 2019/20 campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Following a goal-laded campaign at Brighouse Town where he netted 30 times, Martin made the step up to National League North with Guiseley last summer, and at one point this season he was the leading marksman in the top six tiers of English football having scored 14 goals in 12 matches.
Injuries and a couple of suspensions disrupted his time at Nethemoor somewhat, but he still finished up with a total of 17 strikes from his 23 Lions appearances.
These statistics make impressive reading, though as far as Martin is concerned, realising his ambition of turning professional means that his best is still to come.
"Full-time football is something that I've wanted for a long time, so I'm really excited to have signed for Harrogate," he said.
"The challenges of being a part-time player and balancing football with work and family life isn't easy, but once things get back to normal, I can focus fully on trying to better myself.
"I've thought to myself for a while, 'If I was able to train every day, how much would my game improve?'
"There's a certain fitness level that you can only achieve if you're full-time and I know that technically I will improve if I'm practising day in, day out.
"There's definitely more to come from me. I don't feel like I've been functioning at my best. There is still another 20 to 25 per cent to come."
Only time will tell if Martin does go on to flourish as a full-time professional in the National League, but one thing that Town fans can rest assured of is that they have gained a player who will give his all.
The ex-Sheffield United and Barnsley trainee's goal-scoring record precedes him, but so does his reputation as an athlete who leaves everything on the field.
"A lot of what I've achieved in football has been down to hard work and my work-rate is something I've heard a lot said about during my career," Martin added.
"I always put the work in for the team, that's just the upbringing I've had and the way I've been coached. I was taught that, as a striker, if you can't score goals, you have to do everything you can to help the team in other ways.
"For me hard work is the minimum requirement. It isn't a talent, it's purely about effort and desire and wanting to do everything you can for your team.
"I don't mind running the channels or closing down defenders and I relish the physical battle with centre-backs. All of these things benefit the team and can also lead to goal-scoring opportunities."
Putting a shift in isn't all that the Harrogate faithful can expect to see from Martin, however.
"It can take some time getting used to a new level and a new team, but I'm confident that once I ease myself into things at Harrogate, the fans can expect to see some good goals," he added.
"As I've gone up the levels I've always managed to find a way to score, whether it be down to natural ability or working hard.
"As you go up the leagues you have to look to adapt your game by being more physical or a bit cleverer with what you do.
"What I do isn't always pretty, but I think it is usually quite effective."