Crewe Alexandra: Brad Inman hopes for happier memories at Gresty Road
Brad Inman is hoping to create happier memories at Crewe than his last visit to Gresty Road. Michael Baggaley reports...
WHEN Brad Inman heard Crewe wanted to sign him, he was reminded of a miserable afternoon in South Cheshire.
That’s no offence to the Alex, in fact quite the opposite.
The 20-year-old Newcastle midfielder, who has signed on loan until January, has been an admirer of Crewe ever since he played against them for Newcastle in a youth-team game three years ago.
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Inman takes up the story: “It was a four-hour bus journey to get here and I remember our academy director at the time, Richard Money, telling us it was going to be a tough game.
“I don’t think some of the lads were sure about that though because Crewe were in League Two at the time.
“We had played some teams from League One clubs and beaten them 5-0 so we didn’t expect Crewe to be as good.
“But we got absolutely battered 4-0. I think Nick Powell played, but back then I didn’t really know of him.
“But when Crewe came in I remembered that day. It was good because I knew how Crewe try to play.”
Alex’s determination to get the ball down and play appealed to Inman, and has no doubt also helped manager Steve Davis as he has strengthened his squad with loans from the Premier League this season.
Inman is available for today’s FA Cup second-round home game with Burton, as is Arsenal youngster Chuks Aneke and Fulham hit man Lauri Dalla Valle.
A place on the bench today looks most likely for Inman. He accepts he will have to work hard for a place in a side which has suffered just one defeat in the last six games.
However, he’s happy to have the chance of more regular football having made do with under-21 action at Newcastle.
He said: “Reserve football is nothing compared to playing in League One.
“This is proper football and this is what Alan Pardew wants. He wants me to get first-team experience and play in games where it means more if you win or lose.
“Hopefully I can help Crewe up the table and extend my loan here.
“The team has done well and they can’t just change a team if they are winning. I have to keep working hard in training and hope I take my chance when I get it.”
Inman can play in central midfield or as a deep-lying striker.
Anyone who was at Stoke’s under-21 game with Newcastle in September can vouch for the fact the youngster has a goal in him. He scored a hat-trick as the Magpies cruised to a 5-1 win.
However, starring in the under-21s is one thing, forcing your way past Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa and into the Newcastle first team is quite another.
Inman added: “I’m here until January, but hopefully I can extend that.
“I think Newcastle will bring some players in and I would rather be playing first-team football than going back to Newcastle to play in the under-21s again.”
Inman was born in Adelaide and spotted by Newcastle coach Peter Beardsley during a training camp Down Under.
He moved to England as a 14-year-old, which was a huge decision for his family as his parents David and Lorraine and sisters Jessica and Caitlyn moved to the other side of the world to be with him.
Although born in Australia, Inman qualifies for Scotland through his mum and has represented the Scotland under-21 side.
He’s been on the bench for the Newcastle first-team and is relishing the chance to take the next step and play in the first team for Crewe.
Manager Steve Davis saw Inman in action on Monday when he played for Crewe’s under-21s in their goalless draw at Nottingham Forest.
Davis said: “He did okay. He had a very quiet first half and then came into it more in the second half.
“It is about getting to know the players and getting that little bit of confidence around the group to show what he can do.”
Next Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at home to Doncaster could give Inman his first opportunity, although Davis hasn’t ruled out his chances of featuring at some stage today.
He added: “There’s a good possibility he will be on the bench. He is settling down now; he was a little bit nervous in his first few days.
“He is showing us what he can do and he will come into the equation.”