A bargain worth weight in gold

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JAMIE McGUIRE wants to end his career at Fleetwood Town after racking up 100 appearances for the club.

And manager Micky Mellon hailed the midfielder as living proof that Town haven’t just bought their way to the pinnacle of non-league football.

The 28-year-old is a former youth player at Tranmere Rovers but has never played in the Football League, something he aims to do with Fleetwood in the remaining years of his career.

McGuire said: “I love this club and I don’t want to go anywhere else. The fans are brilliant, the staff are always there helping out.

“I’m loving every moment and hopefully I’ll finish my career here. You can’t beat it.”

McGuire is at the business end of his third season at Town, having joined them from Droylsden for just £2,000.

And manager Mellon has nothing but praise for McGuire’s contribution, saying: “People get carried away with this idea about big-spending Fleetwood. It’s a tag we are given but people don’t look more deeply. They should look at people like Jamie.

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“We got him for £2,000 and he is a great example to other players. He is a terrific player and a winner. If anyone told me they could find another player for £2,000 who would give me that level of performance over 100 games , I’d say they were lying.

“Nathan Pond is in line for his 300th appearance against Mansfield at the weekend and he cost us nothing. We’ve got 400 games out of two players for £2,000 – you can’t get better value than that.”

Even McGuire sounds a little surprised by Town’s progress since he joined them in the second tier of non-league.

He added: “When I first joined, the gaffer just said, ‘Come and help us out and keep us solid. We’re going to go for the play-offs. But when he brought the players in, you knew we were going to go somewhere.

“In our first season in the Conference (premier) we surprised everyone. It was a great season, and then this year you see the players we have – it’s just unbelievable.”

The combative McGuire walked a tightrope in his mileston match, Saturday’s 4-1 win at Telford, having been booked after only four minutes. But that’s an occupational hazard for the Wirral-born grafter, who added: “It’s my type of game. I want to compete and do well.

“I picked a yellow card up a bit too early, so I had to compose myself. The lads told me to calm down.”

So did his manager, who added: “We warned him we would not be happy if he let us down, but he did exactly what we asked of him from then on and he is having a great season.”

Jamie McGuire was talking to LIZ OWENS