AFTER starring for Winsford United, Joe Duckworth has earned a move to a higher league.

The in-form striker, who netted 15 goals in 25 appearances in all competition for Blues this season, has signed for FC United of Manchester.

The Red Rebels currently ply their trade in the Northern Premier League Premier Division – two tiers above Winsford in the footballing pyramid.

It will be a big step up, but Duckworth is keen to test himself.

Reflecting on his time at Barton Stadium, the striker had nothing but praise for his hometown club.

“I have loved every minute at Winsford," he said.

"I think the success that the club deserves from the work they do off the field, is now being shown on the pitch. It is a great time to be a part of Winsford United”.

Making the decision to leave the Blues proved to be a difficult one, but one the striker had to make in his footballing career.

“Of course, it was a very difficult decision to leave, it’s my hometown club," he said.

"I get on very well with all of the lads, it’s a great dressing room to be a part of.

"But when I found out FC United of Manchester were in talks with the club a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to go - I told the management and they were great about it.

"The club have been excellent with me from start to finish, that’s why everything was done so smoothly.

"The offer to join a club such as FC United, who average 2,000 fans each week, was just too big to turn down, especially after I had spoken with their manager and he explained the ambitions of the club.

"Hopefully I can continue my form there and continue to progress. I am really looking forward to a new opportunity”.

After a brilliant time at the club, the 19-year-old had a departing message to the Winsford fans.

“I have loved my time at the club and I hope the fans can understand my reasons for the move," he said.

"I would like to thank everybody for the kind messages - it means a lot and I will be down watching the lads at every opportunity.

"Keep backing the lads - you really are the difference."