Stoke midfielder Mark Waddington getting more from Falkirk loan than Kilmarnock

Mark Waddington. Picture Michael Gillen.
Mark Waddington. Picture Michael Gillen.

Mark Waddington scored his first professional goal to help Falkirk defeat Alloa last week.

And his spell at the Bairns has been much more fruitful than his previous loan deal, at Kilmarnock with former boss Lee Clark.

Mark Waddington moved north from Stoke. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Mark Waddington moved north from Stoke. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The English midfielder has made a strong start to life as a Bairn little more than a month after returning north for a second crack at senior level football.

His first experience at Kilmarnock was limited to a substitute appearance against Morton in the Betfred Cup, but the 22-year-old is now making an impression at Falkirk in the Ladbrokes Championship.

PLAYER PROFILE: Mark Waddington

He says he had every confidence he would, too.

Waddington made one appearance for Kilmarnock, against Morton.  (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Waddington made one appearance for Kilmarnock, against Morton. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Waddington said: “I was young when I went to Kilmarnock – I was only 19 – and now I’ve come back up here to Scotland and I’ve just got to back myself.

“I didn’t get many opportunities when I was there and I’ve come back up here confident in myself. I had a season back down the road in the reserves and I have come back up and I’m now really enjoying it at Falkirk.

“It’s a great place but obviously I have got to put the performances in and make sure that I am on the team sheet every week.”

He’s already played more, and with his goal at Alloa and assist at Partick, achieved more, than previously.

Mark Waddington tapped in at the backpost to send the Bairns ahead straight after the break. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Mark Waddington tapped in at the backpost to send the Bairns ahead straight after the break. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“I moved to Stoke from Blackpool and I only had a short time in the under-23s before I went out to Kilmarnock, Stoke took me back because I wasn’t getting the opportunities. Then I had an injury last year where I missed most of the season.

LEAGUE TABLE: SPFL Championship

“So going back down for the year did help me a bit but it got to the stage where I was ready again. I had come back from the injury and I was ready to go out again and play men’s football again.

“Lee Clark was my former manager at Blackpool and took me to Kilmarnock. There’s nothing against him, Kilmarnock or anyone at that club it’s just one of those things, and these things happen.

“I don’t think I was too young. I’d played in the Championship and in the FA Cup back down the road when I was at Blackpool and I coped ok and I just enjoyed myself playing there but that’s how football is sometimes it just doesn’t work out for you.

“Opportunities might come here or at different clubs that’s just what happens.

CLUB STATS: Stoke City

“I’m enjoying myself [at Falkirk] and the lads have been great the staff and the manager have all looked after me so it’s a good group and with the players that we have got at the club we shouldn’t be where we are in the league and we should be moving up.”

He’s doing his bit to help too, with a vital goal bringing three valuable points and moving the Bairns off the bottom of the league last week, coupled with assists to Zak Rudden goals.

Wadington added: “The aim has always been to keep Falkirk in the Championship and when you look at the league table the gap between us and the playoffs isn’t massive but we’ve got to turn more of these good performances into wins.

“We have been doing well on the road and we have to pick up some more points at home and then see what it takes us but my aim is to help the team.

READ MORE: Alloa 1 Falkirk 2 - as it happened

“Men’s football is massive for me and my development. Compared to reserve football it is totally massive – the difference is huge.

“It’s so important for me to learn and progress in my career playing with a group of men rather than reserves and having a crowd on your back at the weekends it’s a massive stepping stone.”