Why Quigley can replicate Premier League academy stars in Football League success
With Scott Quigley’s recent move from JD Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints to League One outfit Blackpool, questions have risen of whether Quigley can deliver for the Tangerines after making the move from Wales.
The quality of Wales’ top flight is sometimes sniffed at by those across the border, but the forward could be the next man to prove the doubters wrong, following in the steps of his compatriots Rhys Healey and Tom Bradshaw, who made the ease after a switch to the Football League.
Quigley was a product of the Oswestry side’s youth development programme and rose from academy level to first team regular at Park Hall, via a loan move at Cefn Druids.
After a successful campaign last year, in which he netted nine times, and a standout performance against Europa FC in the Champions League qualifiers, where he bagged three goals, now could be the right time for Quigley to make the move.
But could he find the same success Healey, Bradshaw and other Welsh Premier League stars have encountered in England?
The biggest name to come through Wales’ top flight, Bradshaw plied his trade at Park Avenue with Aberystwyth Town in the formative years of his footballing career.
He was involved with the first team during 2008-09 and netted twice in four outings. A move to Shrewsbury soon materialised, where he spent five years.
After his performances at the Blues, the striker moved on to Walsall where he proved to be an astute signing. Scoring 17 league goals in consecutive seasons, Bradshaw’s scoring antics led him to Barnsley where he currently remains.
But, his greatest feat occurred in 2016, when he made his debut for the Welsh national team and thus is evidence that if Quigley’s development is as smooth as Bradshaw’s, then the room for growth and progression is endless.
Cardiff City frontman Rhys Healey may currently be sidelined with injury, but his rise to a Championship striker wouldn’t have occurred without the hard work of Welsh Premier League outfit Connah’s Quay Nomads.
Healey was snapped up in 2009 for the club’s youth system, and then broke into the first team during their successful 2010-11 Huws Gray Alliance campaign. His form saw him earn a more regular starting berth in the Welsh Premier League, but his stint was short lived as his 12 goals in the first half of the campaign earned him a move to the Bluebirds.
Having spent the majority of his time since on loan, with clubs including Colchester United and Dundee, it was during his short spell at Newport County that he made real strides, as his six goals for the then struggling Welsh League Two outfit led to a recall by his parent club.
Healey managed to bag on his second outing for the club, a winner against Burton Albion, however on his second start for the Championship outfit, a serious knee injury left him sidelined for a prolonged period of time.
Whilst both Healey and Bradshaw made their moves at a much younger age than now 24 year old Quigley, all signs point in the right direction if the forward is offered the right blend of development and game time.
The former Park Hall favourite has spoken of his desire to kick on and prove his worth, and if he’s true to his word then the sky’s the limit for the former TNS forward.
(Featured Image: Jon Candy)