Playing squad 2013/2014
Squad No: 18 - Craig Stanley's Picture
18: Craig Stanley 2013/2014

Craig Stanley: 2012/2013 Biography & Statistics


Craig is an energetic box-to-box central midfielder, who is also an expert at set-pieces.

He started out as a scholar with Walsall and signed pro forms in July 2002, but never made a first team appearance. In July 2003, he joined Scottish League Division 1 side Raith Rovers on a six-month loan and marked his senior debut against East Stirlingshire in a Challenge Cup first round tie the following month with the last goal of a 5-2 victory. Rovers struggled in the league that season, but Craig was a regular member of the side that reached the semi-finals of the aforementioned cup competition before losing to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Having been released by Walsall, Craig saw out the 2003-04 season at Telford United, appearing in the second leg of their FA Trophy semi-final against Carlisle United (the Bucks lost on penalties) before a parting contribution of a goal against Farnborough Town on the final day of the Conference season. He joined Hereford United in the summer of 2004 and his importance to the side is illustrated by the fact he missed just five 'regular' league and play-off games over the next two seasons, both of which saw the Bulls finish as runners-up in the Conference National. Having finished behind Barnet in 2004-05, they were denied promotion by Stevenage Borough in the play-off semi-finals, with Craig's disappointment being lessened slightly as part of the England National Game XI squad that won that season's Four Nations Tournament; his debut having come as a playing substitute against the Republic of Ireland in late May. The following season (when Accrington Stanley won the title), club and player achieved their objective: Morecambe were beaten over two legs before Halifax Town were defeated in the final at Leicester City's Walkers Stadium to clinch promotion back to the Football League after a nine-year absence.

Surprisingly, Craig wasn't part of the Bulls' Football League plans, so he joined Morecambe and was soon back on the winning trail. In November 2006, he captained his country to the 4-1 victory over the Netherlands that clinched the 2005-06 European Challenge Trophy, whilst on the club front, he played in all-but-four Conference National games as third place was attained. Now partaking in his third consecutive round of play-off matches, he played the entirety of the two-legged semi-final win over York City plus the full 90 minutes of the promotion-winning victory against Exeter City at Wembley.

On the opening day of the 2007-08 season, Craig and the Shrimps made their Football League debut against Barnet, with his first goal at that level coming two games later against Mansfield Town. Championship sides Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers were then knocked out of the League Cup and the club reached the Northern Area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy before losing to Grimsby Town. By the end of the campaign, Craig had played in 50 of the Shrimps' 56 games in all competitions, whilst the club achieved a commendable eleventh-place finish.

He was a regular in the side again in 2008-09, but a metatarsal injury ended his season in early February, whilst the arrival of Ian Craney saw Craig began the 2009-10 campaign on the bench. However, he showed his worth on the opening day against former club Hereford when, having entered the fray as a twelfth-minute replacement for Fraser McLachlan, he scored just before half time. He eventually battled his way back into the starting line-up and his set-pieces were responsible for more than half of Morecambe's goals in the second part of the season. He missed just half-a-dozen games in the 'regular' season as a play-off place was claimed by way of finishing fourth, but any hopes of promotion disappeared in the first leg of the semi-final as Dagenham and Redbridge smashed in six goals without reply, making the Shrimps' 2-1 victory in the return leg academic.

Craig was an integral part of Morecambe's team in 2010-11, playing in the victory over Championship outfit Coventry City in the League Cup first round and missing just three league games up until late January, at which time a reported falling out with boss Sammy McIlroy saw him loaned to divisional rivals Torquay United for the remainder of the season.

In July 2011, he left Morecambe and became Bristol Rovers' third signing of the summer, thus reuniting with newly-appointed boss Paul Buckle, who had been in charge at Torquay the previous season. He played in the penalty shoot-out victory over Championship side Watford in the League Cup first round and made 34 appearances in League 2 before joining Aldershot Town on a two-year contract in early July 2012.

Unfortunately, Craig's Shots debut was delayed as a result of suffering a broken leg in the final pre-season friendly at Woking.

Career Stats:

Walsall - no appearances;

Raith Rovers (on loan) - 23 + 2 appearances, 2 goals;

Telford United - 14 + 1 appearances, 1 goal;

Hereford - 91 + 3 appearances, 6 goals;

Morecambe - 177 + 18 appearances, 15 goals;

Torquay United (on loan) - 19 appearances, 1 goal;

Bristol Rovers - 34 + 5 appearances, 1 goal

Click the player's picture and the recent news pictures on the left to zoom them.

Craig Stanley's Details
Squad No: 18
Position: Midfielder
Weight: 10st 8lbs
Height: 5' 8"
Date of Birth: 03/03/1983
Place of Birth: Bedworth
Former Clubs: Walsall (from scholar), Raith Rovers (on loan), Telford United, Hereford United, Morecambe, Torquay United (on loan), Bristol Rovers
Debut Match:
Joined Club: 2.7.12
Transfer Fee (Bought): Free
Craig's Club Stats: This Season Club Total
Appearances: - -
Sub Appearances: - -
Goals: - -
Penalties: - -
Own Goals: - -
Total Apps/Goals: -/0 -/0