A promising Lancaster footballer is hoping that his fine form for Preston’s second string can see him compete for a place in North End’s first-team squad.
Ryan Croasdale was on target twice in the 5-0 win against Southport in the Lancashire Senior Cup last week.
The young midfielder opened the floodgates with a low left-foot shot from outside the box, then powered the other into the top corner with his right.
Only a good save from Port goalkeeper David Stevenson denied him a hat-trick, John Mousinho pouncing on the rebound to score.
Croasdale, 19, is a first-year professional at Deepdale but has been at the club since he was eight years old.
His one taste of senior action to date came in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Oldham a month ago.
He said: “There are a lot of good players in midfield and throughout the squad here, so the competition for places is strong. This is my first year as a professional and this season is about learning about the game at this level.
“Then hopefully in the years to come I will then be able to play a lot of football.
“With the experience of the squad, you learn so much from just being about the training ground and in the gym with them.
“People like Kevin Davies and Iain Hume have been around the game and are happy to pass on advice. They tell you things about the game and general bits and bobs about looking after yourself – not just football.
“Games like the one against Southport the other night are perfect for players like myself to try and show what I am all about.
“When a chance comes my way it is up to me to try and take it.”
Not surprisingly, it was with some satisfaction that Croasdale looked back on the win over Southport.
He said: “I was very pleased to score the two goals.
“The second goal was my favourite although the first was with my weaker left foot which I have been practising with in training.
“Hopefully there will be a few more to come. In the youth team I did not score a lot of goals – I scored a couple – so it is something I need to bring to my game.
“We were pleased to beat Southport and progress to the next round. In the first half we had a lot of possession but did not hurt them going forward.
“At half-time, John Dreyer and Alan Kelly just told us to keep moving forward and have an end product.
“We were a lot better in the second half, getting crosses into the box and taking our chances.”