A FORMER Blackburn Rovers youth team player has swapped tackling strikers for tackling wheelie bins.

Michael Aspin, 24, has set up his own industrial cleaning firm, MJA Power Clean, after returning from a spell playing in Australia.

The well-travelled defender, who was the first Englishman to play in the Thai Premier League, picked up a passion for pressure washing during his time living in Perth.

And when the Feniscowles native’s working visa expired in January, he returned home and decided to put his dreams of a professional career on hold to concentrate on getting his business off the ground.

Mr Aspin, who played for Rovers’ academy sides between the age of eight and 16, said he had already built up a host of regular customers since he launched the firm in April.

The company, which deep cleans bins and disposes of pests, uses recycled water tanks to collect contaminated waste and dispose of it safely.

He said: “I’ve been working on the business since January and it finally got up and running in April. I did a little bit of work in Australia and growing up I was always doing cleaning jobs.

“I saw a gap in the market and thought: ‘Why not?’. There’s a customer base of thousands of businesses and residents out there and with warmer weather towards summer I see demand going up.

“One of the aims of the service is not to pollute local waterways with harmful chemicals and promote the use of biodegradable chemicals to ensure that our products are as friendly as our service.”

Mr Aspin joined Preston North End after being released by Rovers’ then-academy manager Gary Bowyer in 2006, before turning out for Northwich Victoria, Farsley Celtic, Chester, Farnborough Town, and Hyde United.

And although he has been training with AFC Fylde with a view to signing next season, Mr Aspin said he was ‘fully concentrating’ on his day job.

The former St Paul’s RC Primary School and St Bedes RC High School student said: “I’ve received a lot of support from my parents, Julie and Phil, to help get everything together. It’s different from football but I’m putting all my effort into making it a success.”