BILLY Smart says a move to Witton Albion was “impossible to turn down” after speaking to manager Carl Macauley, writes Matt Turner.

The 23-year-old midfielder became Albion’s first signing of the summer when his move from Marine was confirmed last week.

Smart, who has also played in the Northern Premier League's top-flight for Warrington Town following spells at Bootle and Burscough, was voted by fans as the Crosby club's best performer last season.

However he says Macauley sold brilliantly to him a move to Wincham Park.

“I can’t wait to get going and meet the lads,” he said.

“I know a couple of them, such as Will Jones and Matty Devine, but it will be good to meet the others.

“It was hard for me to leave Marine because I get on with the fans, players and manager really well.

“I wasn’t really thinking about leaving, but then Macca asked me to meet him. I thought I’d go and listen to what he had to say.

“He sold the club to me and told me about his ambitions for this season.

“He made it impossible for me to turn down.”

After a summer which has seen leading goal-scorer Steve Tames among others leave the club, Smart hopes to be the first of several new additions to Macauley’s squad.

He knows he needs to be fit and hard-working in order to get into the Albion chief’s team but is confident he will slot in.

“Macca’s teams are known for being hard-working,” he said.

“He likes people who can get box-to-box and run forever at pace.

“I do like that kind of stuff, and to win headers and tackles.

“I haven’t played against his teams that many times, but he’s always had a fit group of lads."

Smart was a key figure in a Marine side that finished clear of relegation danger last term after placing 19th.

By contrast, Witton narrowly missed out on a play-off berth in their first season back in the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division.

Smart says taking that next step and mounting a sustained promotion challenge was a big reason behind his decision to make Wincham Park his new home.

“I’ve been playing in this league for a few years now and I don’t want to be playing for a mid-table team,” he said.

“For me, I definitely want to be challenging for the play-offs and Macca wants that too.

“They came close last season but with a few more additions, hopefully we can take that next step.”

The fixtures for a new season will be released next Thursday, July 12.