Second-time lucky for new Pompey recruit Craddock

Tom Craddock has signed for Pompey. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131287-088)
Tom Craddock has signed for Pompey. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131287-088)

Tom Craddock toasted the Pompey move he was desperate to make and insisted: It’s second time lucky.

The 26-year-old yesterday penned a two-year deal following his release from Oxford.

He becomes the seventh player in less than a fortnight to commit to the Blues as boss Guy Whittingham’s rebuilding continues at pace.

For the striker, it was the end of a long wait for a switch he believed would happen in February.

The Blues had lined up an emergency loan move for the out-of-favour Craddock, only for Oxford to change their mind late on.

The disappointed former Luton man, though, knew there would be a second opportunity – and that arrived yesterday.

He said: ‘Last season I had 12 goals by January 4 and was getting left out of the team for whatever reasons.

‘That was the manager’s prerogative and I nearly joined Pompey on loan around February time.

‘Oxford blocked it so I couldn’t but as soon as I heard a club like Portsmouth were interested there is only one place I wanted to come.

‘I know Simon Eastwood, he was number two at Oxford when I went there, and was excellent, although frustrated he wasn’t playing.

‘I spoke to him when there was the chance of coming on loan and he said what a fantastic club it was. He spoke in glowing terms and said it was unbelievable.

‘As I knew there was a chance of coming here I was following the takeover, and when it was the court case I was following on Twitter.

‘It was getting updated and I had Sky Sports News on as well.

‘It was a Wednesday and I wasn’t training that day, so could follow it easily and I was pleased at the outcome.

‘Ever since February I have kept a really close eye, it’s the first result I was looking for.

‘You see the size of the club and everyone talks about the fans. It’s fantastic.

‘You don’t know anything for definite in football but once I found out they wanted me I always wanted to come here.’

Craddock scored 28 goals in 88 appearances for the U’s, including 12 this season.

Before that he netted 38 goals in 86 matches at Luton, including a spell in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

The Middlesbrough apprentice also bagged four goals in a match against Accrington this season.

And he’s relishing getting going in his new surroundings.

He added: ‘I came and met the manager a couple of weeks ago and this is the only club I wanted to join.

‘As soon as I met the manager and saw the stadium I wanted to come.

‘I want to come and be part of it and progress with Pompey.

‘If Pompey do well it will only be good for my career. I am really excited.

‘I can’t wait for the new season to start.’