Daniel Udoh is hoping his loan spell at Chester FC can help him force his way into the reckoning at Crewe Alexandra - and he had advice from a former Blues striker before making the switch.
Alex striker Udoh signed for the Blues on a one month loan deal from the League Two side last week and made a solid debut in the vital 1-0 win over Solihull Moors at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday .
It is the second loan spell of the season for the 21-year-old having enjoyed a fruitful period at Evo-Stik side Halesowen Town recently, and Udoh jumped at the chance to join the Blues having heard about the club from a former teammate - Ryan Lowe.
Striker Lowe, who is now first-team coach at League One side Bury, made 85 Football League appearances as a Chester player and netted 30 goals, and he played his football with Udoh last season at Gresty Road.
Said Udoh, who signed for Crewe in March 2016 from Ilkeston: “I was doing alright (at Halesowen) and the gaffer was watching me and when my loan finished there was an opportunity to come to Chester, and knowing how big the club is and knowing players like Ryan Lowe who had played here previously, he (Crewe boss David Artell) said to go there and give it a good crack and it will give me a good opportunity, even if it is this level next year or play higher, I just want to play games and do well for the club I’m playing for.
“When he was with me at Crewe he used to take our striker sessions and used to tell me little things off the ball.
“I remember when he was injured last year and I was starting in his place he told me to get my head down and make those runs and pace yourself, what an experience pro would tell a younger player.”
And the Chester connection doesn’t end there for Udoh.
Current Alex boss Artell was a former teammate of Lowe’s at Chester City during the 2005/2006 season and made 80 appearances in the Football League, scoring four times.
Now in the hotseat at Gresty Road he knows all about the Blues and had spoken in the press before Udoh’s switch that he wanted him to play at a higher level to challenge himself and to help aid his development.
And with a crucial run of games coming up for Chester in their bid for National League status, now was seen as the perfect time for Udoh to make the move.
“He (Artell) looked at the fixtures and at least four or five of them are around us in the table so he said just go there, work your hardest, do your best and come back in and we will give you a chance,” said Udoh, who remains on loan with the Blues until January 7 in a deal that has been aided by the club’s Squad Builder fund.
“That is the goal. I would like to push on, get better and improve and while I’m here I can crack on.”