An opportunity to prove to himself and others what he is made of. That is how Brad Raiker views his spell at Vale.
Despite struggling with some injuries he has managed to do that in the games that he has played, showing himself to be equally adept at right back or in midfield.
“When given the opportunity to join the Vale I jumped at it. This move his given me the opportunity to get some much needed game time and match fitness. I also know a lot of the lads well and knew I was coming to a good footballing side and a great bunch of lads.
“I feel the move has been a good one despite a couple of small injuries I have picked up. I feel I have showed to myself and others that I am well capable of performing well at this level. Working alongside players like Cloudy (Keith McLeod), (Kevin) Motion and Robbie Manson has been great, all players who have been very successful at this level, you can always learn from them in training and on match day.
“The training has been excellent too, the Vale lads take training very seriously and I think Chris is very well assisted by Sean Taylor who is a brilliant fitness coach. He has helped me with a gym programme to get myself back to full fitness and strength.”
Like his team-mate Blair Atkinson he wants to succeed at Spartans. Going out on loan is a chance to play regularly an impress and prove to your parent club you are good enough, it’s ultimately the reason most players do it.
However, Raiker did admit that he would be open to playing at Vale if that did not work out. In fact, they would be his first choice after Spartans.
He explained: “As for what next season holds, that is something that will be discussed in the next two or three months but ideally my goal is to get back into the Spartans squad. I went through a difficult period outside of football last year and my head wasn’t really in the right place which had a big effect on my football and threw me off for a while, but now I am more motivated than ever to go back there and show I am good enough.
“If I was not a Spartans player I would most likely be a Vale player. I have been made to feel very welcome here and appreciate the club and everyone involved with it. I feel the Vale are a club who are only looking up and will be looking to challenge at the top end of the table in the next couple of seasons.”