AUSSIE midfielder Bradden Inman has no regrets on leaving Newcastle United and believes his club Crewe Alexandra can avoid relegation to League Two.
Inman left the Magpies in the off-season to join the Railwaymen permanently, after spending two thirds of the 2012-2013 season on loan at the Alexandra Stadium.
The creative playmaker had originally left Australia at the age of 14 to join Newcastle United’s Academy.
In August this year the 22-year old signed a three-year deal with the League One club after knocking back a new deal with the Magpies.
“I didn’t feel like my time was up at Newcastle, I just felt that this was a great chance really to develop my football and play first-team football and at Newcastle that would be really hard to do that,” Inman said.
“I felt like I’m old enough now to be playing first-team football instead of just playing Under-21s where you see a lot of lads get stuck.
"A lot of people 20 to 22 are playing Under-21s football at Premier League clubs but don’t know first-team football. I’m glad I came to Crewe.”
After leaving Adelaide in 2007, Inman was highly regarded at Newcastle United, going on to star for the Geordies Under-21 team and he won the club’s ‘Wor Jackie’ award for the best under-18 player in 2010.
He was named on the bench for the first team several times in 2009 but never made a first team appearance.
But Inman admits it was tough to leave St James Park.
“It was basically my second home,” he said. “I’ve lived there for eight years.
"It was tough but I’ve matured now and I had to look at the football and not just where my friends are and everything because at the end of the day you can make friends anywhere can’t you.
"I think Crewe helped a lot.”
Inman excelled on loan at Crewe last season, making 21 appearances and scoring five goals. He also helped the club win the Football League Trophy, defeating Southend in the final 2-0 at Wembley.
Crewe has one of the most prolific academies in English football and is a big believer in the development of young players.
“Wembley would be most people’s dreams,” Inman said. “Not even the best players get to play at Wembley and to play there, in front of that atmosphere, honestly was a dream come true really.
"I never would have thought a couple of years ago I’d be playing at Wembley.”
The 2013/2014 campaign has been a mixed bag so far for Inman. The attacking midfielder started the season strongly but missed a series of games in November and December. Media reports suggested the reason for his omission was because of a poor attitude and effort.
“I didn’t really have a pre-season because I didn’t know if I was going to be at Newcastle or Crewe,” Inman said. “I was kind of playing catch up and once I got fit and everything I was back in the team.
"Then I had a bit of a break, but I’ve put that behind me now and just push on from there.”
Inman denied he was left out of the squad for a lack of effort.
“To be honest it was almost a cover-up story, I don’t think it was to do with bad attitude, there was bits and bobs that got put together,” he said.
“The press got involved and just made up stories that I was involved. But they obviously don’t know what the real truth is. But everything’s sorted, the air’s cleared and the gaffer’s happy with me.
"It was more to do with injury than anything. The press made it up because one of the other lads kind of had a bad attitude so they put us together. It was just one person.”
Inman made his comeback to the Crewe first team against Colchester and set up two goals in a 2-1 come from behind win.
“It was the first time we’ve actually come back against a team this season as well so the lads showed a lot of courage to do that,” he said.
“It’s probably the turning point of our season. It’s always good to get the assists so, I’m just happy that we won really, they were two good finishes.
"Hopefully we can push on from there. I’ve worked hard to get back in the first team and I hope now to play every game.”
Inman again started in Crewe’s next game, against Carlisle United, and played an influential role, claiming another assist as the Railwaymen recorded another 2-1 win.
The back-to-back victories meant Crewe have moved up the table and are now in 21st place, three spots off the bottom and on equal points with 19th-placed Oldham and 20th placed Tranmere.
Crewe face Rotherham on Saturday and Inman believes the club’s and his own good run of form can continue.
“We don’t expect to be there [in the relegation zone] because we’ve got enough talent,” he said.
“We should be closer to the playoffs then anything because we’ve got a really talented squad. I just think that we’ve had a lot of bad luck. You can tell now everyone’s confidence is back.
"Crewe has been a good for me. They have offered me first-team football and last season being on loan I kind of felt like they have kind of helped me with my career.
"I’m enjoying my time now.”