Finn Azaz

Finn keen to be part of the project

New Argyle signing Finn Azaz is the epitome of a word that increasingly gets used around Home Park: development.

Joining a football club that demonstrably develops on and off the field, Azaz told ArgyleTV of his desire to mirror such a progression.

Signing on loan from Aston Villa, and becoming the third arrival of the close season, midfielder Finn, 21, is looking to take the next logical step in his young career.

After coming through the youth system at West Bromwich Albion, Finn had a season on loan at Cheltenham Town, in which he was part of a team that won Sky Bet League Two. Having switched to Aston Villa, he spent last season on loan to Newport County, again in Sky Bet League Two.

Now, he is ready for the step up to the next level.

“Last season, I got more goals that the season before,” said Finn, who scored seven times in 2021/22. “You get an appetite for it, that feeling of scoring and people celebrating.  When I was having the initial conversation, a video got sent to me of some of the goals here, and some of the celebrations. That’s part of the reason why I am here.

“I’m ready for that next step; that bigger stadium, that bigger noise. I’m really excited for it.”

Finn’s performances for Newport earned him a place in the Sky Bet League Two Team of the Season. Joining him in that selection was Dom Telford, a former Argyle player who also shone for Newport last term. Importantly, Dom remembers his time at Home Park fondly, and spoke highly of not only the club, but also Steven Schumacher.

Finn said: “After speaking to the manager, speaking to people like Dom (Telford) who played here, I like the project as a whole. I watched Argyle a few times last season, and the way that they play, the entire project feels a good fit for me.

“I didn’t have the start to the season I wanted, but pushing through that and to have the season I had, I feel like I developed a lot. I was disappointed with where we finished; from a personal point-of-view it was a good season, but I am always concerned with ‘are we winning?’ That’s the most important thing.”

Reflecting the kind of player he is – creative, thoughtful, incisive – Finn’s first words as an Argyle player caught the ear as being reflective, but also full of ambition. Ultimately, Azaz wants to play at the very top level.

“I want to develop to become a Premier League player at my club,” he said. “That’s the ultimate goal. In terms of this season, I’m focused on trying to win every single game, getting that next step to where we want to be.

“Everyone’s journey is different. I’ve got people who I played with as a kid – we had a successful youth team – who are no longer playing. I was one of those players that wasn’t the main guy, the main name on the tip of people’s tongue when they spoke about my age group, but I slowly built through the ranks, carried on working hard, and growing as a player.

“When I was 17, I developed physically, I bulked up in the gym a bit. That helped progress me into men’s football. Over the last two seasons, playing in men’s football, I’ve continued to develop physically, tactically and psychologically. 

“As a player, the two things I like most are winning football matches and developing; the two go hand-in-hand.”

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