|Nick Chadwick - Striker|
With the departures of Francis Jeffers and Phil Jevons in the summer of 2001, Nick Chadwick assumed the mantle of "most promising home-produced striker" thanks to a phenomenal scoring record for Everton's youth teams and for the Everton Reserves side that won their league in 2000-01.
Chadwick came close to the first-team action during the 2001-02 pre-season, scoring a goal for an Everton XI that beat Hereford 2-1. The 19-year-old was rewarded with a place on the substitute's bench for the opening games of the season, and finally made the field as a substitute in the ill-fated Worthington Cup defeat to Crystal Palace.
Chadwick finally made an impact towards the end of 2001-02 when he played in a series of Premiership games under the new manager, David Moyes, and scored three important goals in the process.
It was imagined that he was well on the road to a permanent place in Moyes's new Premiership squad but that was not to be as he suffered an injury setback that kept him out of action for key team-building at the start of the 2002-03 season.
Chadwick ended up playing mostly for the reserves before being farmed out on loan to Derby County in the early spring. He failed to score and returned to Everton in March 2003. Even though he did make his one and only (sub) appearance of the season in the last game, at home to Manchester United, his future with the club looked bleak.
Season 2003-04 was no better for Chaddy, with Moyes deciding he had plenty of other strikers to choose from. A lengthy loan to Millwall followed, but that was suspended in January 2004 when he returned to Everton for treatment of a groin problem. After a game for the reserves, Chadwick returned to Millwall and their quest for FA Cup glory in March 2004.
There were broad expectations that Chadwick would move on but Everton priced him out of a move to Millwall and he stayed at Goodison, although chances to play for the first team were few and far between. But one came as a sub in the Bristol City League Cup tie: he scored a nice header with his first touch.
With David Moyes showing no inclination to use Chadwick, favouring Ferguson as his super-sub, it was only a matter of time before the lad moved on. In February 2005, he secured a 2½-year contract at Plymouth Argyle, with Everton collecting a fee of £250k. Not a bad bit of business considering he would be out of contract and free to move on for nothing at the end of the season.
Commenting on the move, Chaddy said: “There’s been a bit of tension between me and David Moyes for a while. I broke into the team at 18 and wasn’t any closer to a regular place at 22. My career was going backwards.
“I did well every time I played so found it annoying — but that was his decision. Plymouth are a progressive club so I’m looking forward to my time there."
His time at Plymouth Argyle turned out to be better suited to his limited abilities but he did gain the distinction of scoring their fastest ever goal. inside 11 seconds v Crystal Palace. However, in a spell lasting 3½ years on the south coast, he could only manage 10 goals and was released in June 2008. In September, he was given a contract with League 1 outfit Hereford United, but they released him after just 4 months and 1 goal, a penalty, in 13 appearances.
Updated by Michael Kenrick, January 2009