The rise and rise of William Grigg
We all know and love Will Grigg but I think we take his meteoric rise through the ranks a little bit for granted. When we first saw him, he was a rough diamond to say the least and I don`t think he is given enough credit for just how much he has improved in such a short space of time.
As our only international representative, he is carrying the Walsall badge with him every time he plays for Northern Ireland and we should all be very proud of the fact he is consistently making it into the Northern Ireland under-21`s, despite the fact he is playing in an under-performing side who do not make nearly enough chances for him. His goal against Scunthorpe showcased just what Grigg is capable of and if he continues to improve at this rate he is well placed to lead the line at the club for as long as he wants to. The flip-side of that is that he will become hot property for the better League One and Championship clubs if the clubs successes can`t live up to his ambitions as a footballer and no one would begrudge Grigg if he were to one day depart for pastures new.
He was prolific at under-19 level, scoring 7 goals in 16 Northern Ireland game and took that momentum into his first under-21 game for his country after scoring from the bench on his debut against San Marino. Unfortunately, he has not scored for N. Ireland since but he is obviously showing enough, internationally and domestically, to keep earning call-ups and I have no doubt it will not be long until he makes the senior squad. On home soil, he is not doing too badly either. He tends to specialise in the unexpected and the spectacular and that more than makes up for the fact he has only netted 7 in 36 games. He is a target man and creates a heck of a lot of chances for his team mates and that is just as, if not more, important for a front man in the lower leagues. He is as much of a poacher as he is a presence and he will be adding that presence and precision to the side, hopefully, for many years to come.
Will is still a little bit of a raw talent and he needs to develop consistency in his performances if he is to live up to the potential he is showing. He will score goals every season and he will always be a handful for centre-halves at any level, he just needs to do it more often. A few strikes like the one against Scunthorpe wouldn`t go amiss either. He is also part of my ever-growing claim to fame at Walsall Football Club: after running into him in the car park I took the chance to say: "well played today Will" to him and he said "thanks". Good times, good times.