Hotshot Campbell fired up to make pro return

Jarrow Roofing's John Campbell (left) celebrates scoring against Consett this season
Jarrow Roofing's John Campbell (left) celebrates scoring against Consett this season
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IN-DEMAND striker John Campbell has insisted he is better placed to make a career out of football after admitting his attitude as a youngster stopped him becoming a star.

Jarrow Roofing forward Campbell has attracted huge interest from Football League clubs after a stunning start to the season.

The 25-year-old played for Oxford Reserves on Monday night, and is travelling down to League One club Fleetwood Town next week for a trial.

On top of that, Sheffield Wednesday and Carlisle have also sent scouts to watch the frontman.

It seems that a return to professional football beckons for Campbell, who was on Newcastle United’s books as a kid, signed as a trainee with Manchester City, and had a spell at Darlington.

But while he admits homesickness and his attitude held him back in the past, Campbell is now ready to give it another shot.

“Playing professional is something I’ve always wanted to so since I was younger,” he said. “I gave up for a bit, but now I’ve got the hunger back.

“When I was younger, my attitude was all wrong. I thought I was better than everyone else and didn’t put the effort in.

“And when I was at Manchester City, my girlfriend Leanne was pregnant with my son Layton. I got really homselsick and when he was born I just wanted to be with them.

“I’m more mature now and I want to make a go of it. It comes with age.

“I wouldn’t mind moving away – in some ways, it would be good for me, a fresh start, and I’d take the family with me.

“If I get the chance, i’ve got to grab it with both hands.”

Campbell, who has hit 24 goals this season already for Roofing, played for Oxford on Monday in a friendly against Wolves.

He added: “I did really well and set up both goals in a 2-1 win.

“I had to come off after about 75 minutes with a bit of a groin strain but they (Oxford) said I did well.

“Now it’s just a case of waiting to see what happens.

“I’m going down to Fleetwood on Sunday, and I’ll train with them on Monday and play a game on Tuesday.”

The move to Roofing has certainly helped reignite Campbell’s career. Having drifted into non-league football after his Manchester City days, the striker earned another tilt at the pro game when he signed an 18-month contract with Darlington, helping them to win the FA Trophy at Wembley in 2011.

He appeared at Wembley again last season for West Auckland in the FA Vase final before switching to Roofing in the summer.

And now he hopes to follow the likes of South Tynesider David Carson – who joined Blackburn from Ashington – and ex-Dunston forward Scott Fenwick who have moved from Northern League clubs into pro football lately.

“Scott’s signed for Hartlepool and has done really well,” said Campbell. “I think there’s a few Northern League players who could play at a higher level.

“I want to be the next one to make it.”