Stockton: Back in the North West and scoring wonder goals again

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Stockton: Back in the North West and scoring wonder goals again

Cole Stockton is no stranger to a wonder goal.

The Barrow striker added another to his impressive resume against Forest Green in February, with an audacious 35-yard chip sealing him the Sky Bet League Two Goal of the Month award.

“We were 1-0 down at the time, I just intercepted a square pass off their player and my body shape was already facing the goal,” Stockton, a proud Scouser, tells Sky Sports. “I saw the keeper off of his line and as you know, I’m always going to try my luck, and it’s managed to pay off.”

Aden Baldwin of Notts County is battling with Cole Stockton of Barrow during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Notts County and Barrow at Meadow Lane in Nottingham, on January 27, 2024. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto)

Image: Stockon in action for Barrow this season

While at Morecambe, Stockton won the League One Goal of the Month award back to back in August and September of 2021, while also picking up the player award in both.

“I’ve still got all the trophies,” he adds. “They’re away at the minute but they’ll be out to show the kids, I’m sure. It’s always nice to keep things you’ve been recognised for in the game.

“Those type of goals are something I’ve always done, I’ve always tried that kind of stuff since I was a kid. The worst-case scenario is that it goes out for a goal kick. In this day and age, the keepers are like fifth defenders so I’m always happy to try my luck from a long way out.”

Stockton joined Burton Albion last summer, ending a four-year stay with Morecambe. But the move didn’t really work out, as he struggled with injury and didn’t manage a single league goal. But things have improved since joining Barrow on loan in January. He has scored four goals and is back enjoying his football again.

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“I put it down to the environment I’m in,” he says. “It just didn’t work out as expected at Burton under the previous manager that brought me in, but that’s football for you. Getting the chance to come here, get back playing and loving what I’m doing is something I’ll have always snapped someone’s hand off for.”

Other than Burton and a spell with Hearts in Scotland, Stockton has spent the vast majority of his career in or near the North West of England, taking in time at Tranmere, Carlisle, Wrexham and Morecambe.

He admits feeling at home contributed massively to his on-pitch performances.

Image: Stockton struggled at Burton in the first half of the season

“I love being at home and I love playing football, but everything is about opportunity,” he says. “You have to be happy on and off the pitch and being here I’m exactly that. I’m back showing what I can do and I’m loving my football.”

It has been 54 years since Barrow last played in the third tier of English football, but with the club currently sat in the play-off places there is genuine optimism they can end the season with a flurry and end that run.

Stockton, who helped steer Morecambe to that level for the first time ever in 2021, is hopeful of creating another bit of history for the people of Barrow-in-Furness.

“It would be massive for the club if we were to do it, the fans and the community in Barrow,” he says. “The first couple of days up here I just felt at home. We have a long way to go to get to where we want to be, but we’ll keep going until the end of the season.”

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