Kurt sets his sights high

Clitheroe striker Kurt Willoughby. Picture: Peter Ryan
Clitheroe striker Kurt Willoughby. Picture: Peter Ryan

Striker Kurt Willoughby has the utmost respect for Clitheroe boss Simon Haworth and the club’s leading scorer is keen to show that by banking more than 30 goals this season.

The 23-year-old appreciates that the Shawbridge chief has been there and done it at the highest level for both club and country.

Haworth featured in the top flight for Coventry City, making 11 appearances for the Sky Blues, before making a £600,000 move to Wigan Athletic.

And the striker, who scored 59 times in 126 starts for the Latics, also earned five caps for Wales, representing his nation against Scotland, Jamaica, Malta, Tunisia and, most notably, Brazil.

Haworth shared the field with the likes of Taffarel, Cafu, Aldair, Ze Roberto and Rivaldo in an international friendly in Brasilia in 1997.

“Working under Simon is really good, he’s the one who really gave me a proper chance at Clitheroe and believed in me.

“He’s been there and done it and had a very good club and international career.

“He gives me advice, tells me what I need to improve on, and I respect and take on board what he says.”

Willoughby has 19 goals in all competitions this term, with 15 of those coming in the Evo-Stik First Division North, two more than his closest competitor, Scarborough Athletic’s Michael Coulson.

But the forward, who was on Fleetwood Town’s books, and had trials with Championship side Bolton Wanderers, isn’t finished there.

“For me, personally, it’s going really well,” he said.

“Obviously strikers are mostly judged on goals, and so far this season I have scored 19 altogether, so it’s going well.

“It’s great to be the league’s top scorer and I’m proud of it, but I just hope to still be at the top at the end of the season.

“In terms of targets before the season started, I wanted 30 goals, but with the start I’ve had, I want to aim closer to 40.

“Ambitions for the team right now would be to finish in the play-offs, which I think is very achievable with the team we have.”

The Blues, who have now won three league games on the bounce to climb to ninth place in the Evo-Stik First Division North table, just outside the play-off places, host Brighouse Town on Saturday, with kick-off at 3 p.m.