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Craig Stanley
Full name Craig Stanley
Nationality Eng England
Rovers apps (goals)a 34 (1)
Position Midfielder
Date of birth 3 March 1983 (Age 41)
in Bedworth
Height 5 ft 8 in
Joined
1 July 2011 from Morecambe
Left
2 July 2012 to join Aldershot Town
Senior clubs
Walsall
Raith Rovers
Telford United
Hereford United
Morecambe
Torquay United
Bristol Rovers
Aldershot Town
a League appearances and goals only
Last updated by Gasheadsteve on 25/05/2013

Craig Stanley was one of fifteen players who joined Rovers in the summer of 2011 as part of a massive overhaul of the playing staff by new manager Paul Buckle. The midfielder was the third player signed by Buckle, agreeing to sign for Rovers on 7 June 2011. He had previously played under Buckle earlier in the year while on loan at Torquay United from Morecambe and the gaffer was keen to work with him again.

He was one of ten players to make their full Rovers debut in the opening game of the 2011–12 season, a 3–2 win over AFC Wimbledon screened live on Sky Sports. He left the club on 2 July 2012, a year after joining, when he and the club mutually agreed to cancel his contract, which still had twelve months left to run. He signed for Aldershot Town the following day.

Craig won four caps with the England National Game XI, the side that represents England at the semi-professional level, and captained the side for his fourth and final appearance.

Career[]

Craig began his career with Walsall, signing professional terms with them in 2002. He was never selected to play first team football for them however, and in August 2003 he was loaned out to Scottish First Division side Raith Rovers, where he got his first taste of senior football. He stayed with Raith until the loan expired in January 2004. His return to Walsall was a brief one, he was transferred to Telford United just a month later, but spent just two months playing Conference football for them before the club folded. He remained in the Conference for the next two season with Hereford United, winning promotion to the Football League via the playoffs in 2006, beating the now-defunct Halifax Town 3–2 in the final.

Stanley was unable to make the move up to League Two however after Hereford released him at the end of the season. He returned to the Conference with Morecambe for the 2006–07 campaign and again won promotion via the playoffs in 2007, this time beating an Exeter City side that included Matt Gill and Wayne Carlisle, and featured Paul Buckle as an unused substitute. The win meant that Stanley became the first man to win promotion to the league via the playoffs in two consecutive seasons.

This time Craig was able to finally make his Football League debut, running out for the first time on 11 August 2007 against Barnet. He played a total of 171 league games for Morecambe before moving to Paul Buckle's Torquay United at the tail end of the 2010–11 season. Torquay were keen to land Stanley permanently, but he opted to follow Buckle to Rovers in 2011.

After leaving the Gas in 2012, Craig signed for Aldershot Town but was forced to miss the almost the entire 2012–13 season after suffering a broken leg and ankle ligament damage in a pre-season friendly against Woking. He eventually made his competitive debut for the Shots in the final month of the campaign, in a 1–1 draw with Port Vale on 9 April 2013, and scored his first goal for them four days later against Wycombe Wanderers.

Career stats[]

Season Club League
Apps Goals
2002–03 Walsall 0 0
2003–04 Walsall 0 0
2003–04 Raith Rovers (loan) 19 1
2003–04 Telford United 12 1
2004–05 Hereford United 41 3
2005–06 Hereford United 38 1
2006–07 Morecambe 43 2
2007–08 Morecambe 41 2
2008–09 Morecambe 24 5
2009–10 Morecambe 41 4
2010–11 Morecambe 22 2
2010–11 Torquay United (loan) 19 1
2011–12 Bristol Rovers 34 1
2012–13 Aldershot Town 5 1

Record against Rovers[]

Craig has never played a competitive first team match against Bristol Rovers.

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