Grimsby Town's 'spy in the camp' Louie Soares raring to go against Ebbsfleet United
LOUIE Soares could be Grimsby Town's 'spy in the camp' when they return to Conference action against Ebbsfleet United.
The Mariners winger has spent most of the last two months on loan with the Fleet, making nine appearances for the Kent side.
But, following his Town recall last week, the 27-year-old could line up against his former team-mates from down south at Stonebridge Road tomorrow.
An impressive 15-minute showing off the bench in Wednesday's FA Trophy victory at Buxton certainly won't have hurt Soares' chances.
And the Barbados international hopes that cameo could secure him a spot in Rob Scott and Paul Hurst's match-day squad.
"I've been thinking about the possibility of coming up against Ebbsfleet a lot, but obviously the important thing is to get picked in our squad first," Soares told the Telegraph.
"I would love to line up against them and there has been a bit of banter between me and the lads down there.
"The managers here haven't asked about Ebbsfleet yet, but I'm sure they will, and hopefully I can help out with some information about their key players and things like that.
"I mostly played on the wing at Ebbsfleet but also had a game up front. They played 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 while I was there.
"They were in the relegation places but they've been more solid over the last few games and have picked up a lot.
"It's all to do with confidence. They were really low at one point but have found some belief recently.
"They're a good bunch of boys and there are some very good players, so we'll need to play well to get the job done."
Soares came to Cleethorpes in February with a big reputation after scoring 15 times in just 31 outings for Hayes & Yeading United in the first half of the season.
However, his opportunities at Town have been limited and after just one start this campaign, the former Reading trainee asked to go out on loan in September.
"Of course it's been frustrating for me this season but I've tried not to worry about it too much," he added.
"All I can do is concentrate on myself, work hard to stay fit and be ready for opportunities to make my mark when I get them, like on Wednesday night.
"I've stayed focused on doing my best and making sure I'm not a 'bad egg' within the squad – and tried to support the boys who are playing."
On his stay with Liam Daish's Ebbsfleet – who have lost once in their last six league encounters – he continued: "I really enjoyed it down there and did ok.
"It was great just to be playing again, but there was a lot of travelling backwards and forwards and that started to take its toll on me.
"I was getting really tired because I was travelling for fours hours in each direction every other day. I was spent after that!
"I was training up here on Monday and Tuesday, then travelling down there on Wednesday and training with them Thursday before staying at my mum's near Reading, an hour and a half away.
"It wasn't easy but it gave me what I needed, which was games."
Soares was pleased to make the most of his return to the Town set-up in Wednesday's First Round replay.
With the scores locked at 0-0 and extra-time looming, the midfielder swung in an inviting right-wing cross for Ian Miller to nod home and send the Mariners through.
He said: "I was delighted to be included in the squad, it was fantastic to be involved.
"I'd like to say a big thank you to the Mariners fans as well – they gave me some fantastic support when I came on and that gave me a massive lift.
"It was a great feeling and helped a lot, especially on such a cold night – it was freezing!
"I was happy with the way I performed and it was great to get the win.
"We dominated the whole second half and I definitely wanted to get a bit of the action, so to come on and set up the winning goal was great.
"We didn't want extra-time, but as a group we all had the feeling that we were going to do the job in 90 minutes – it was nice to get it done and dusted in normal time.
"There is so much confidence and belief in this squad and that's what makes it so hard to get a place in the team.
"The chance to go on a run in the Trophy and perhaps play at Wembley is a big thing for all the lads.
"A few of them have played there before and they've been telling us stories about their day, which just makes the rest of us want to play there even more."
With stiff competition for the Mariners' wide roles coming from Scott Neilson, Joe Colbeck and Marcus Marshall, Soares appreciates it will be a challenge to earn a place in the side.
But the winger is determined to make an impression upon his return – and help Town to promotion.
"Town are top of the league now, so obviously I want to impress the bosses and be involved in that," he said.
"I've always believed in myself and it would be great to really show what I can do for Grimsby Town.
"I would love to play my part in helping the club back into the Football League – that would be great for me personally and for the whole town."