AS MOSSLEY footballer Jack Tuohy looked to rebuild his career at Mossley, the striker hopes he can emulate former Lilywhites’ players Scott Hogan and Richie Bennett who have gone on to play in the English Football League.
“When I was playing for Oldham Athletic, we bought Matt Smith from non league and he went on to play in the Championship and nobody needs reminding where Jamie Vardy started out,” he said.
“Those players inspire me as they have showed it is never too late and I am only 20.”
Oldhamer Tuohy was a professional at Latics and had made three first-team appearances when his world came crashing down.
He was released by Latics after being charged with sexually grooming an under-aged girl. Though he was cleared at Manchester Crown Court in February, it has been a struggle to get his career back on track.
“A few clubs were interested but felt a backlash after what had gone on and wouldn’t sign me, even though I was found not guilty,” explained Tuohy.
He played non-league for Barnsley side Shaw Lane and Chadderton last season before Mossley came calling.
Tuohy, who plays the No 10 role just behind the striker, said: “Mossley player Rob Flynn is a friend and he recommended me and Peter Band (joint manager) asked me to come to training.
“I love it here, have scored a few goals pre-season and I am enjoying my football which is what matters most.
“I would love to get back into the League, but all I can do is focus on what I do and let my football do the talking.”
Tuohy, who supported Oldham Athletic as a boy growing up in the town, admitted he is still not fully over his ordeal.
He explained: “I still get people saying not nice things to me, and that knocks me back.
“I am sure in time it will make me a stronger person because I have experienced the worst of the worse, including being put in a police cell.
“It has been a hard journey and but for the support of my family I would have killed myself.”