Harrison Biggins has made a whirlwind rise from Fleetwood Town’s development squad and was one of the first names on the teamsheet as Joey Barton’s men embarked on their Hungarian tour.
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Twelve months ago midfielder Biggins was not included in Town’s pre-season touring party, having signed from non-league Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Though the 22-year-old rose through the ranks, making his League debut at Wigan last December and being given his first start by caretaker boss Barry Nicholson at Gillingham in February.
Biggins continued to feature once John Sheridan took over the reins and starts the Barton era as a fully fledged first-team player.
After netting his first ever goal for the club in Friday’s 4-0 friendly win at Salford City, Biggins started Town’s first game in Hungary yesterday – a win over Slovakian side STK Fluminense Samorin.
And he is hoping to build on that breakthrough year by establishing himself under Barton.
Biggins said: “This time last year I was playing in the development games at non-league grounds and I’ve soon pushed myself up there.
“I think once you get two or three games under your belt one after another, you grow in confidence and you really start to believe in yourself to play against whoever you come up against. I came up against a couple of good teams last season and stood my ground, so hopefully I’ll get more appearances this year.”
And after missing out on last summer’s Austrian tour Biggins is making the most of this one.
He said: “Obviously the training is going to be a bit tough but it is only going to help us. The team bonding is a big thing because there are some new faces in there.
“Hopefully everyone gets to bond and that is only going to help in the games.”
Biggins is enjoying working under Barton in his first managerial role. “Pre-season is going well,” he said. “Personally, I’m enjoying working under the new manager and the new staff, and everyone has said the same.
“Everyone has come back really fit and we’ve been mixing things up. Everyone is getting a decent knowledge of how to play with each other. It is all working well so far.”