Lloyd Marsh-Hughes’ loan move to Caernarfon gives him regular football and a proper chance to prove his worth says manager Calum McIntyre.
The 21-year-old striker signed a new six-month deal at the Deva Stadium in the summer but has fierce competition for places at the Deva Stadium, not least from new signings Kurt Willoughby and Kole Hall who have both impressed so far.
So, joining the Welsh Premier League side on loan until January gives Marsh-Hughes the prospect of more games after scoring nine goals in his seven months on loan at Runcorn Linnets last season, averaging close to a goal every three matches.
As McIntyre explains, the youngster has had to overcome setbacks since graduating from the Chester FC academy. He said: “Lloyd hasn’t had a straight route since progressing into senior football in this club, he was in a scenario at 18 where there was real value attached to him.
“That doesn’t go away overnight. People don’t realise that Lloyd had a broken foot, with each foot in different points, then a recurrence of that injury.
“So over time he has been out with three broken-bone foot injuries during that 18-months to two years.
“So, when he first went to Runcorn Linnets last season, that was his first real taste of consistent senior football. Not 28 days or being throw in though injuries in our own first team. He needed to go and learn his trade.
“So, we made a decision that we would take his age out of the equation and look more at his experience.
“Lloyd has had a stop-start pre-season, picked up a minor knock that ruled him out of the last week and then the Alfreton game. That means players have been able to cement themselves. Kurt Willoughby is in unbelievable form, we are delighted with Kole Hall, and there is also Anthony Dudley, Adam Thomas and Darren Stephenson.
“Lloyd is on a short term deal where ultimately he has been tasked with proving himself in a daytime training model, playing games in senior football, scoring goals.
“If we are going to extend that beyond January, he needs to have the opportunity to earn that extension. He can only do that by playing games.
“If there aren’t immediate games at his parent club with us then we needed to put him out on loan.”
The move to Caernarfon also works off the pitch. McIntyre added: “I think there’s a perception about what footballers at this level earn. There will be three tiers of player within our budgeting structure and some really aren’t earning the money that people think.
“What we might pay four or five of our young lads combined will be one wage at some other clubs. It really is a modest income.
“So, we wanted to make sure that, in giving Lloyd the opportunity to play senior football, he was geographically looked after. He is a North Wales boy, Caernarfon had wanted him, had spoken to us and it felt like a really good fit for all parties.
“The nature of an international loan – which this is, even moving over the border to Wales – is that he can’t return until January because it is a transfer window to transfer window loan.”