Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com
Friday, March 16, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues are excited to announce they have signed defender/midfielder Ricky Waddell for the 2012 USL PRO season, pending league approval. A veteran of the Scottish league system, the 31-year-old has suited up for clubs such as Falkirk FC, Partick Thistle and Airdrie United, where he played alongside fellow countryman and current Blues forward Allan Russell from 2007 to 2008.
Waddell, who also plied his trade in the Singaporean top-flight for a year in 2006, was most recently under contract with Scottish side Clyde FC. He first joined the Blues for a week-long trial this past November, following a glowing referral to the coaching staff by former teammate Russell.
“It went really well,” Waddell said. “Everybody associated with the club had a very positive approach, which included the coaches’ philosophy on how to play the game. Since signing and coming back, things have been great. While I’m still recovering from a bit of an injury, I’ve been trying to stay as fit as possible and everyone here has been extremely supportive, from the physios to the coaches and my teammates. There’s plenty of time before the season and I’m determined to be fully ready come April 14.”
One who can’t wait to see the former Airdrie man complete his rehab and join the regular training sessions is Associate Head Coach Shayon Jalayer.
“One crucial thing about Ricky is that he can play on the left and whip dangerous balls in the box, whether it’s as a midfielder or as a defender,” Jalayer said. “In addition, he has what we call the British mentality, meaning he’ll run up and down the field all day and pull himself up from his own bootstraps when the team is struggling. At the same time, he knows how to knock the ball around and keep possession, which is key to our game.”
Waddell is eager to help his new club succeed. He is aware of both his own strengths and those of the team, and they have him aiming high for the upcoming USL PRO campaign.
“I can play several positions and want to use that versatility to feature in every game,” he offered. “Also, being one of the older and more experienced players, I’d be happy to take on more of a leadership role. While I know a few Scottish guys who have played in USL and who say the level is very high, I think the chemistry on our team and the way we’re starting to play together warrants aiming for a championship in 2012.”