Blackpool’s new signing Daniel Ballard insisted he is determined to prove his worth, after the highly-rated defender joined on a loan deal from Arsenal.
The 21-year-old becomes Neil Critchley’s 13th addition of the summer, bringing a wealth of talent to a new-look Blackpool squad. Ballard becomes one of a host of defenders to join the Seasiders this summer, alongside Marvin Ekpiteta, Demetri Mitchell, Jordan Gabriel and Luke Garbutt.
The Arsenal loanee has continued to impress following his rise from the under-18s, captaining the under-23’s to the final of the FA Youth Cup and making his North Ireland senior debut against Romania in the Nations League in September.
After penning his first professional contract with the North London Club in 2018, Ballard joined Swindon Town on loan last season, albeit briefly, after the defender sustained an injury and subsequently returned to the Gunners after making just three appearances for the Robins.
Reflecting on his loan move to Bloomfield Road, Ballard was delighted to join the ranks and admitted he was excited to get going for the Seasiders.
“I’m over the moon to be here,” Ballard said.
“I’m just thankful I’ve been handed this opportunity, so I’m looking forward to playing for the Club and getting some minutes on the pitch.”
The defender admitted Blackpool was the right platform for him to develop as a professional and hopes he can push the Seasiders in the right direction going forward.
“I’m still very young and I’ve got a lot to learn. I’d like to take what I’ve learnt so far and improve my game every week and also help the Club.
“There’s a very talented group of players here, so hopefully I can learn a lot from my time here and give some good performances for Blackpool. I’m here to get into the team and show what I can do, so I’m excited to hit the ground running and meet all the lads in training,” Ballard continued.
“The fans can expect 100% from me every game. I’ll be aggressive on the pitch and play for the shirt and take every opportunity I get with both hands.”
Ballard also expressed his delight to be joining a youthful squad at Blackpool, insisting the Seasiders will continue to learn and improve as the season unfolds.
“It’s a young squad, but I think that it will help that we’re all of a similar age. We can learn as a collective group and improve too.
“There’s also a few experienced players in the team, so I’m hoping that we strike a good balance in the squad this season that will allow us to get some good results.”
Want to sponsor Daniel for the 20/21 season? Business and fan player Sponsorship are now available. Please contact Commercial@blackpoolfc.co.uk for more information.