Published: 13/01/2016 09:00 - Updated: 12/01/2016 17:07

Alex Fisher wants to grab ICT opportunity with both hands

Written byJamie Durent

 

Alex Fisher jumped at the chance to join the Caley Jags. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Alex Fisher jumped at the chance to join the Caley Jags. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
CALEY Thistle new boy Alex Fisher's move to the Highlands was very much a "can't miss" opportunity.

 

The 25-year-old hitman left previous club Torquay United in the English Conference last month, fired up by the opportunity to win a contract with the Ladbrokes Premiership side.

Manager John Hughes had his eye on Fisher for close to 12 months and when the man himself was made aware of the opportunity, he jumped at the chance to move.

Seven goals in 22 games at Torquay suggests he knows where the back of the net is and it is something he is keen to show during his time with the Caley Jags.

"Before I left Torquay my agent informed me there'd been a long-standing interest from Inverness, dating back to the start of the year when I'd already signed. It was an opportunity I thought I had to grab," he said.

"We left on very good terms and as a footballer, you want to play at the highest level possible. It was an opportunity I felt I couldn't turn down.

"It was a gamble to leave a contract for a trial but it's worked out. I'm very proud to have got this deal."

The much-travelled striker had not ventured north of the border prior to last summer in pre-season, adding Scotland to the list of countries he has plied his trade.

Fisher started his career with Oxford United and when he was released in 2009, relaunched his career with help from the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Jerez, Spain. The Academy, set up by the former England international with help from some high-profile friends, helps released players find a new home in the game.

The experience gave Fisher the push he needed back to the professional ranks, first with nearby side Jerez Industrial and then spells with Belgian clubs Tienen, KRC Mechelen and Heist. He spent a season in Italy's third tier with Monza during the 2013-14 campaign before returning to England with Mansfield Town.

He feels he has learned a lot along the way, being pitched into different countries and different cultures regularly over the last five years.

"The move to the Glenn Hoddle Academy came about through an exit trial. They had Graham Rix, Nigel Spackman, Dave Beasant - it was a great coaching setup. That led to one contract abroad after another. It led to Belgium, Italy and then back home," Fisher said.

"I'm alright at Italian, which was the last place I played. When I learn a new one I tend to push the older ones out. I know a lot of the football words. Spain had bit of an English bubble which was good to start with.

"Belgium is largely English-based and Dutch is quite similar. In Italy there's no English-speaking so you're chucked in. That was a harder experience but you have to do it.

"I've learned to live away from home. I find that transition quite easy. I've learned different styles and cultures of football - Italy was a very slow-paced, technical and defensive style. You then go to League Two and Conference back home where it's very direct and physical. I've had quite a nice rounding and I feel like I've benefitted from it."

The biggest name to emerge from the GH Academy ranks is Scotland star Ikechi Anya, who now plays in the English Premier League with Watford.

Despite being thrust into action against Stirling Albion after just signing for Inverness, Fisher believes he has had a smooth introduction to Scottish football.

"I didn't know a lot about it the week before I arrived but it's a great little town. Everyone from the staff here to the fans have been very welcoming, so it's been a smooth introduction into Scottish football," he said.

"I know last year Inverness had a very successful year - getting into Europe, finishing third in the league and winning the Scottish Cup. It was a great achievement, so I knew there was high expectations. If I can contribute in any way to the team progressing then great."

- Alex Fisher was promoting the 'pay-what-you-can' initiative run by Caley Thistle for their game against Partick Thistle on January 23. Fans can set their own price for match tickets and this is a repeat of the scheme trialled against St Johnstone last year.

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