Durrell Berry is hoping to be a knockout signing for Cheltenham Town after agreeing a deal with the Robins until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old right-back is the son of a former professional boxer, Dennis Berry, but he knew from a young age he wanted to pursue a career in football rather than following in his dad into the ring.
“I did think about boxing, but decided pretty early that it was going to be football instead,” Berry said. “I was at Notts County from a young age, but when they shut their academy down when the club had some financial problems, I joined Aston Villa.
“I was there from Under-14s through to one year as a pro before I joined Plymouth.”
Berry spent three years at Home Park, during which time the Pilgrims were transformed from relegation strugglers to play-off contenders. He made 107 League and cup appearances, 97 of them starts.
Derby-born Berry left Plymouth at the end of last season and signed non contract forms with Devon rivals Torquay United in November.
“I had some good games for Torquay, despite not being match fit when I went there,” he said.
“I’d like to thank their manager Chris Hargreaves for putting me in the shop window and giving me a chance to get my fitness back up, which has helped me get the move to Cheltenham.
“He was great to work with and I can’t thank him enough for helping me back into football and this is a great move for me.”
Hargreaves and Torquay were so keen for Berry to remain a Gulls player, the supporters clubbed together to try and find the cash to offer him a permanent deal.
But they were unable to offer him terms and Paul Buckle came calling as he looks to provide competition for Lee Vaughan.
“I got a call from the gaffer here at Cheltenham and at that time I was waiting on the situation for Torquay, but they weren’t able to offer me a permanent deal due to finances,” he said.
“I am really pleased the gaffer has now given me a chance to get back into the Football League and play.
“I’ve already passed 100 appearances in my career so I have quite a bit of experience.
“I’ve had a chat with the gaffer already about the possibility of a longer deal, but I am just concentrating on getting games under my belt and doing my best for the team and we’ll take it from there.”
Berry describes himself as a defender first and foremost, but he does like to attack as well.
“I like to get forward, but defending is my main strength,” he said. “Having been brought in by the gaffer I’d like to think I have a chance to stake my claim to be first choice at right-back and I am looking forward to Dagenham away on Saturday.”
Berry has lined up against Cheltenham for Plymouth several times, most recently in August 2013 when the Greens won 3-1 at Whaddon Road after three unanswered goals before half-time.
“Plymouth are a massive club, probably the biggest in League Two,” he said.
“In my first year we struggled massively and just stayed up and it was the same again the next year, staying up on the last day, but last season we shot ourselves in the foot because we definitely should have been in the play-offs, but we missed out.
“Plymouth look like they might do it this year and they shouldn’t be in League Two really.”
You can follow Durrell on Twitter: @djberry_2
Dagenham ticket information can be found here.