MATT CROWELL admitted it is make or break time for his career after signing a six-month contract with Wrexham yesterday.
The midfielder promised to fulfil his potential as he makes his comeback from a knee injury which ruled him out of the final four months of last season.
Crowell has had a stop-start career during his four years at Wrexham, with injuries sidelining him for long spells.
And the 22-year-old said it was now time to prove he could cut it as the Dragons prepare to begin a campaign for the first time under new manager Brian Carey.
“I’d go so far as to say it’s make or break for me now,” said Crowell last night. “This will be my fifth season at Wrexham – I’ve been in and out of the team and funnily enough my best season was my first one because I didn’t get injured.
“No excuses – I’ve played over 100 games and I played in the LDV Vans final, but I’ve also had a lot of injuries. In the last three seasons I’ve had an ankle operation which ruled me out for three or four months and I’ve had ops on my knee, which again is three or four months, and it’s just been stop and start.
“They’re not major injuries – it was just a few broken bones on my ankle – but you’re out for a long time, then you’ve got to come back and get fit and you’ve got to win your place in the team again.”
Following a recent operation on his knee, Crowell said he hoped he had turned the corner and could now put his injury nightmares behind him.
“I think I’m due a bit of luck with injuries,” he added. “I’m only 22 so hopefully I’ve had my injuries early on in my career. I believe in myself and I believe I’ve got a lot to give, and I feel I haven’t shown completely what I’m capable of.
“The knee seems good, it’s coming along slowly. I’ve run today for the first time in four or five months and I’ve had no reaction so far. It’s a slow build-up process but fingers crossed I’ll be ready to train with the rest of the lads in pre-season.”
Crowell said he was grateful to Carey for giving him the chance to prove he had a future at the club.
“I’m happy that he’s offered me something considering I’ve been out since January,” he said. “He had a chat with me at the end of last season, said he didn’t want to let me go and wanted to give me a chance to see how my knee goes.
“Ever since I’ve been here Brian’s been here – as a player, then as a coach and now as manager. It would have been easy for him to let me go, but he’s seen me play and given me a chance. I’ve just got to prove to him that I can do a job, and I’ll be here as long as he wants me.”
With Wrexham still in need of a playmaker to replace Darren Ferguson, who left to become Peterborough manager last season, Crowell said he had to take whatever opportunity now came his way to play himself into Carey’s plans.
“I’m a completely different player and a completely different person to Darren,” he added. “He was obviously a very good player and there’s an opportunity there definitely – and if you get the opportunity to play you’ve got to make sure you take it.”
l THE next meeting of Holywell and District Reds takes place at the Abbots Arms in Pen-y-maes, Holywell, tomorrow from 7.30pm.