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‘Express yourself’ was message from Caley Thistle boss Billy Dodds to winger Nathan Shaw

Nathan Shaw in action for Caley Thistle.
Nathan Shaw in action for Caley Thistle.

Winger Nathan Shaw signed on at Caley Thistle because he’ll have the freedom to create and attack from either flank.

The 21-year-old was snapped up by Inverness head coach Billy Dodds last month after leaving National League North side AFC Fylde.

He’s already netted in pre-season and has confidence in his ability, boosted by words of encouragement from Dodds, who sold him on a switch to the Highlands.

Shaw said: “I spoke to the gaffer and he told me his views on how he wanted to play football here. It’s an attractive way to play.

“He spoke about giving me the freedom to go forward and express myself, and that’s all I can ask as a forward player.

“I’m at ease on either side of the pitch – I don’t mind – left or right I feel comfortable.

“On the left, I’m on the line, crossing into the box. On the right, I’m cutting inside for a few more shots.

“It has been good to get off the mark in the pre-season games.

“It makes it easier going into the season knowing you’ve already got that behind you as you don’t put that stress on yourself. Hopefully there will be many more.”

High standards in Scottish football

A steady stream of English players have made the move north this summer and former Blackpool youth Shaw thinks TV coverage of Scottish matches is helping sell the game to talent below the border.

He said: “I just saw this as a great opportunity to come and play. Hopefully I’ll play many games this season, get on the scoresheet and see where it takes us.

“You see a lot more of Scottish football on TV now and I’ve seen a lot more players from down south coming to play up here.

“It shows the standard is good. We’ll see how it goes.”

Shaw explained Caley Thistle reaching the promotion play-off final before losing to St Johnstone in May also played a part in his decision to up sticks and make the move.

He said: “It was a massive part for me, looking at last year.

“They were obviously unlucky in the play-offs, but hopefully, this year, we can go the full way and get promoted.

Caley Jags head coach Billy Dodds.

“The style of play suits me – express yourself, go forward, look for that end product.

“That’s all you can really ask. I want to go past people, beat them and create and score goals.

“Hopefully working for the gaffer is going to help me a lot.”

Settling in to Highland life

Inverness itself is an attractive new home for Shaw, who said it’s far from a culture shock.

He added: “It is a very small city, very quiet, but it is a lovely area.

“I’ve settled in quite well already.

Inverness is attractive to new signing Nathan Shaw.

“I’m from Blackburn, which is pretty quiet as well – not a massive difference.

“When I was in Blackpool’s set-up, I was able to live at home and travel in every day.

“I was two years there as a pro and went on loan to AFC Fylde, then signed for them.

“I’ve always been full-time.”

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