NEW Kidderminster Harriers signing Taiwo Atieno has swapped working with a boyhood idol for furthering his career in the Nationwide Conference.

The strapping Brixton-born striker used to watch Paul Merson and his favourite Ian Wright from the terraces at Arsenal.

So it was a dream for Atieno to work alongside Merson, now player-boss at Walsall, but today he was joining ex-Saddlers defender Stuart Watkiss for his first training session in a five-month loan at Kidderminster.

The 6ft 2in target man meets up again with familiar faces in defenders Daryl Burgess and Wayne Evans.

He played alongside them in a two-goal temporary spell at Coca-Cola League Two outfit Rochdale last season.

Atieno, an admirer of Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer, admitted: "I did have the chance to score more goals there but was happy with the two I got and with the experience I gained from Rochdale and my time on loan at Chester.

"I thought I progressed well last season. Hopefully, I can bring that experience to Kidderminster. I liked it at Rochdale and know Daryl and Wayne are both quality defenders.

"All I'm thinking about is getting first-team football but obviously it's a bonus being just around the corner from Walsall. There's some good players ahead of me there.

"I set quite high standards for myself and, even though I'm not in Walsall's first team, I still think I'm good enough to play in League One. It's going to be competitive and hard in the Conference but otherwise I don't know too much about it. It's going to be a challenge and I'm ready for it.

"I've worked on a lot of things with my game -- my strength and my touch for example. I want to be an all-round team player for Kidderminster, score goals and keep the ball for the team."