The Tameside Reporter say that former Ashton United striker Martin Pilkington is relishing the prospect of returning to action following a three-year ban from the game.

In 2016, Pilkington was banned from all football-related activity for four years after being charged by the Football Association for breaching betting regulations during the 2014/15 season.

It’s alleged that Pilkington, who scored 70 goals in 153 appearances for the Robins, placed bets on matches he was competing in during a nine-month period between August 2014 and May 2015.

Reluctantly, the fans’ favourite admitted to the charge and was subsequently banned for four years, with the final 12 months of the ban suspended for a period of two years.

Having served a lengthy period on the sidelines, the 30-year-old is desperate to put the past behind him and is hoping to pick up where he left off when his ban completes on July 20.

Speaking to Reporter Sport, Pilkington said: “I’ve missed the game massively as I’ve played since the age of five.

“It has affected my life massively and kept me out of trouble from an early age, so I can’t wait to be playing again.

“I want to challenge myself at the highest level possible and I won’t settle for something easy. I want to be surrounded by good players that possess quality and have ambition to do well in a competitive league.”

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