Sheffield Wednesday: Teen new boy eyes first team

Ryan Croasdale
Ryan Croasdale
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Teenage midfielder Ryan Croasdale is targeting a regular spot in Sheffield Wednesday’s first team next season after joining the Championship club.

The 19-year-old officially becomes an Owls player on July 1, having penned a one-year contract with the South Yorkshire outfit last week.

Croasdale progressed through Preston North End’s academy and signed his first pro deal at Deepdale last summer. He made just one senior appearance for the Lilywhites during the 2013/14 campaign, featuring in the first-half of their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Oldham Athletic.

Lancaster-born Croasdale also spent a month on loan at relegated Skrill Premier side Tamworth, making two appearances, and Stalybridge Celtic last term.

Croasdale, recently released by Preston, said he is “really happy” to have joined Wednesday.

“This is an opportunity for me to show what I’m made of. It’s massive club. I’m going into the under-21s but hopefully we’ll be training with the first-team in pre-season. There’s always a chance I can push myself into the first team.”

Owls: P22

Croasdale’s switch to Hillsborough means he is reunited with Wednesday academy manager Dean Ramsdale, who worked with him during his time as director of youth development at Preston.

“I’ve known Rammers for four or five years,” said Croasdale. “He made me captain of the youth team when I was 16. Having a friendly face there will be really important.”

Croasdale had been with Preston since the age of eight, captaining their U-18s side as a 16-year-old.

“Being let go by any club is hard, but I’d been with Preston since I was eight,” said Croasdale.“In a way, it was my life and I grew up there.

“It was hard to take but now it’s all about how I react.”