MAX WATTERS won the Essex Senior League with Barking in 2017 but is hoping for a more high-profile promotion with Barnsley this season

The 24-year-old striker, who joined on loan from Cardiff City until the end of the season, has started five games and come off the bench nine times.

Watters, who worked as a removal man when playing non-league football before turning professional, told the Chronicle: “I have not had a promotion professionally yet.

“All players want to get promotions, It’s the most important thing in football. It would be a massive achievement because it’s really hard to get out of this league.

“When I had a chance to come here, I looked at the table and their form.

“I knew it was a great club to come to with loads of aspirations.”

Watters netted in the February win over Cambridge United, in which he was also sent off, and the winner in the March success over local rivals Sheffield Wednesday

He looked likely to net a third against Shrewsbury Town on Monday but, after lobbing the goalkeeper, chested wide of the open goal under pressure from a defender.

That would have made it 3-0 but Barnsley held on for a 2-1 win.

Watters said: “I thought I would score.

“I have had a lot of discussions about that.

“I should have scored it. I could have done better but it was also good defending. Hopefully I can get another chance on Saturday and take it.

“There’s no point dwelling on it because it will just impact the next chance. I will just put it to bed, forget about it and focus on the next one.”

Watters has been in and out of the starting 11 recently, swapping places with James Norwood with top-scorer Devante Cole almost an ever-present.

“I knew they had good strikers when I came here.

“It was always going to be tough to get into the team and stay there. But if I can impact the team and help strikers push on then that’s all that matters.”

Watters is contracted at Cardiff until the end of next season.

He said: “I am not looking at next season. I just wanted to show what I can do to everyone, including myself. I really like Barnsley and I have taken to it.

“I wouldn’t say no to coming back at one point in my career.”

Head coach Michael Duff told the Chronicle: “Max has been good.

“He just hasn’t quite hit his straps.

“There’s definitely a player in there. He had a couple of niggles then he got sent off.

“During the suspension he got another niggle. It’s been fits and starts.

“His general contribution has been good. Unfortunately for him, Nors and Coley have been on really good form so he has not had as many opportunities as he would like. The incident on Monday probably sums it up. He’s been good but it’s almost there.”