Waddo Looking Forward To Killie Spell
On 18 July 2015 Mark Waddington was announced as a Stoke City player by Tony Scholes.
12 months on he’s reflecting on his first year at Stoke and looking forward to a spell north of the border at Kilmarnock.
Waddington moved to Staffordshire as part of a double deal, joining from Blackpool alongside Dom Telford.
So, how does he feel the first season went?
“I really enjoyed it,” Waddington told Stoke Loud & Proud.
“Moving to a Premier League team has done me the world of good, particularly learning off some of the best players in the world.”
The level headed youngster is under no illusions that there are a number of players ahead of him in the pecking order, but says: “I’ve got to keep working hard and hopefully a first team opportunity will come in the future.”
Waddington demonstrated his versatility during his first season with Stoke’s U21 side, but confesses that central midfield is his preferred position: “I have the legs and engine to get up and down the field. I like to play forward and create things.”
Despite this, the natural leader did admit that he could improve with his decision making in the final third.
With that in mind, the 19 year old has set himself a target following his temporary move to Kilmarnock.
“I want to be involved as much as possible and contribute with five goals from midfield before my loan ends in January.”
The move to Rugby Park sees Stoke one man lighter ahead of their first EFL Trophy campaign for 15 years, but Waddington says: “It is great for me to have the opportunity to play in the Scottish Premiership.
“As soon as I got the call it was a no brainer, I need more experience under my belt and there is no better place to do that.”
The opportunity to play in front of huge crowds at the likes of Celtic Park and Ibrox will be tremendous for Waddington, who teams up with his old Blackpool boss Lee Clark.
Although Waddington was not ready to play this weekend, Kilmarnock’s competitive season has already started.
As the midfielder explains: “It is a bit different up in Scotland, with four cup games before the league starts.
“It is important to try and get up to speed and get my fitness and match sharpness back so I am ready for the first league game.”
That first Premiership game is a home contest with Motherwell, who count former Stoke youngster Louis Moult as one of their main men.
For now though, both Waddington’s and Kilmarnock’s concentration is on the Scottish League Cup, with three more fixtures scheduled before the turn of the month.
Waddington concludes: “You obviously want to win the cup games so the first few weeks will be tough.”
We’ll be keeping an eye on Waddington’s progress and will hopefully catch up with the midfielder over the next few months.
Thanks for your time Waddo and good luck at Kilmarnock!
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