WREXHAM manager Denis Smith saw new loan signing Tom Craddock in goal-scoring form yesterday and is hoping it’s a positive omen ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Bristol Rovers.
The 19-year-old Middlesbrough striker trained with his new Dragons team-mates for the first time and immediately impressed the Racecourse boss, who said: “I’m pleased with what I’ve seen.”
Darlington-born Craddock has hit the net four times in three starts for Boro’s reserve team this season and was on target again yesterday, albeit during a practice match involving everyone bar the injured Lee McEvilly and Lee Roche.
Said Smith: “Tom scored the only goal in the game, which is a positive start and he looks to be the decent player I was told he is.
“I’d also been told he is a strong character, which is what we need at the present time, and after meeting him last night and seeing him work today that seems to be the case.
“His arrival, together with the fact that we have Craig Morgan here and Shaun Pejic coming back into the squad for Saturday, means there is a little bit more competition for places. The best motivation for any player is the strength you have on the bench.”
And Craddock revealed he had not hesitated when he was told about Wrexham’s approach to take him on loan.
“From what I’ve been told about Wrexham by our assistant manager Malcolm Crosby it appears they are in a false position in the league table and hopefully I can help them to start climbing back up,” he said.
“There has been talk of me going on loan to several clubs – but nothing concrete until yesterday – and I believe it’s the right move for me at this stage of my career because I just want to be playing football regularly.
“I’ve played at the Racecourse a couple of times against Liverpool reserves, so I know it’s a good surface that encourages people to play football, which suits me. As far as I’m concerned now all I will be thinking about is doing my best for Wrexham.
“It’s very early days but all the boys here have made me feel very welcome and helped me to settle in as quickly as possible. For my part, I like scoring goals and I’m confident in my ability to put the ball in the net, regardless of the level of football I’m playing at.
“Obviously Wrexham’s fans will be expecting me to deliver, but that goes with the territory and I think I can handle that as well. For the next month I will be playing my heart out for this club and, who knows, if both clubs agree I might well be here for a lot longer than that.”