Matt Crooks has the versatility and power to play a key Championship role this season.

That’s the view of manager Mark Robins, who has been impressed with the 20-year-old club product in pre-season.

Crooks, from Waterloo and a member of the Under 21 side who won the Professional Development League II North, has been an unused substitute for the first team but is now pressing for greater involvement.

“I thought Matt was very, very good against Guiseley the other night,” said Robins, who took his senior squad to Scunthorpe on Saturday.

“He played in the centre of defence, then moved into midfield and drove through to create a goal.

 

“Matt has had some issues to overcome in the last 12 months (including an ankle operation), but he looks like he is starting to grow into his body – which is huge!

“He seemed to grow two inches on Friday night and another inch on Saturday – bus seriously we have to be mindful he is a growing individual and he’s a big lad now.”

Crooks is listed at 6ft tall, but he is now well over that, and weighs in at 11st 5lb (72kg).

He joined Town as a youngster before spending a number of years at the Manchester United Academy, eventually returning to the John Smith’s at Under 15 level.

Crooks was awarded his first professional contract in November 2011 and has this summer penned a new deal. He was on loan at FC Halifax Town in 2011-12 and Radcliffe Borough late in 2012.

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