Former Western Pride defenders Joel Haack has thanked the club for preparing him for a shot at a professional career in the UK where he is currently training with Wrexham’s academy side.
Haack and fellow Pride defender Cory Leggett train twice a week at the Welsh-based professional side from the 5th-tier English National League.
On weekends both players gain valuable senior experience playing for Welsh second division side Buckley Town.
Haack paid tribute to Western Pride for giving him the senior football experience he required to make an impression in the UK.
Haack made 31 PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues appearances for Pride since joining the club at the start of last season, before heading to Wales in May.
“The training that I have done at Pride over the last 16 months has improved every aspect of my football,” Haack said.
“I would highly recommend playing NPL before playing anywhere overseas as it somewhat prepares you for the level of football the overseas leagues present.”
Haack added he was excited to be training at Wrexham under the tutelage of professional coaches.
“This is just a training agreement at the moment but there is always the opportunity to play at Wrexham full time if they like what they see,” Haack said.
The 20-year old will be able to put what he learns at Wrexham into practice at an ambition Buckley Town side who are targeting promotion to the Welsh Premier League this season.
Haack said playing for Buckley Town was a good starting point to his UK career, and hoped he would be playing at the higher level with the club next year.
“(Cory and I) have spent our whole careers working hard to become the best footballers we could be and with this opportunity it is going to definitely help us,” Haack said.
“Buckley Town gave us the opportunity to play football over here and has huge plans for the future so we both plan on helping them succeed.”
Haack added if promotion should not eventuate he hoped to catch the eye of Welsh Premier League or English League clubs in the future.
“Over here you are always getting looked at so hopefully I get put in front of the right faces and they like what they see,” Haack concluded.
Words: Garry McKenzie
Photo: Chris Simpson
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