AN Ellesmere Port teenager is champing at the bit to finally get his Chester FC career off the ground.
While his team-mates bask in the glory of a storming start to the season, former Everton youth team starlet Tom McCready has been forced to watch from the stands after he sustained a nasty injury to his right knee on his debut for the re-formed club.
The 19-year-old suffered medial ligament damage after throwing himself into a 50-50 challenge just minutes into his Chester bow against Harrogate Railway Athletic in early October.
But now, with his knee brace off and his crutches finally thrown to one side, midfielder McCready is close to kicking a ball in anger once again – and he is determined to show the Chester faithful why manager Neil Young signed him in the first place.
“I think the Chester fans have probably forgotten who I am,” said McCready, who had spells at Scottish Premier League side Hibernian and Blue Square Premier outfit Altrincham after his six-year stay at Everton came to an end last year.
“I couldn’t believe it, coming to a new club like Chester, wanting to play in front of all our supporters then getting injured straight away. I think I won the tackle but my studs got caught in the ground and my knee twisted.
“I was ruled out for eight weeks, but I’m back in the gym now, jogging, cycling and doing weights to strengthen my knee and I could probably side-foot a ball now.
“But I don’t like to set a date for exactly when I’ll be back.”
Former Ellesmere Port Catholic High School student McCready, whose big brother Chris plays professionally for League Two side Morecambe, knows he will have a real fight on his hands to break into a Chester team that tops the Evo-Stik League First Division North standings.
He said: “The team’s doing really well which is great as we all want to get out of this league as soon as possible.
“Once I get a chance, maybe sometime around Christmas, I will need to prove I’m worth a place in the team all over again.”
Chester boss Young added: “Tom’s got a lot of ground to make up in terms of the position he plays and the players we've got available in there. But we will give him every opportunity.”