Manager Keith Hill has spoken to www.rochdaleafc.co.uk after securing his first recruit of the summer ahead of the 2014/15 season.
Jack Muldoon, who will celebrate his 25th birthday on Monday, agreed terms with Rochdale on Thursday afternoon.
After coming through Scunthope United’s youth system, the forward went on to turn out for various non-league sides, including most recently Worksop Town, who he netted 21 goals for this season.
Jack has trained regularly with Dale since the start of the year, and Hill is delighted to have him on board.
“There are a lot of players that get flagged up playing in non-league. He was playing for a side that had a lot of good players that had been on a lot of club’s radars, but we saw Jack as one of the integral parts of that Worksop team,” said Hill.
“He’s a provider, he’s a goal scorer, he’s got plenty of pace and power, he can play in a number of positions, and he fits into the balance of the squad that we want.
“He has been working as plasterer and playing part time football so he has been bringing in a decent income. But again, he’s one of those players who has been willing to make sacrifices in order to fulfil his ambition and his dream.
“We’ve had a really good look at him and to offer him a contract was the easiest thing I could do.”
The move to Spotland sees Jack link back up with former team-mate Scott Hogan, who he struck up a partnership with at Stocksbridge Park Steels. Hogan has had an exceptional first season in the Football League earning a Player of the Year nomination, but Hill is keen that the two shouldn’t be compared.
“The pressure of the success of Scott Hogan should not be heaped on Jack Muldoon – he’s a different type of player. Yes there’s a reference to be drawn on the fact that he has come from non-league, but that should be it.”
He continued: “One thing that I am aware of is that I’ve got to retain a balanced squad and that means recruiting players that have got hunger, desire and commitment. There has also got to be a balance with respect to right and left footed players within the squad. I don’t know what it is about named players, but we seem to live in a world where a name is more important than ability, or a name is more important than success. Jack’s not a household name at the moment, be he will be, don’t worry about that.
“We know that he’s a good character and we know that he wants this so desperately. I’m not afraid to take him into League One at all - he’ll be pleasant surprise in League One, as will the majority of this squad.”
On further recruitment, Hill commented: “All I intend on doing over the summer is bringing balance to a squad that I believe is already going to be successful in League One.
“My business will be done as professionally as I possibly can, and as quietly as I possibly can. I will get the right signings when I can, but for me, the two signings that I want to take care of are Josh Lillis and Matty Done, and if I can’t take care of them I will find direct replacements for them, so that’s my area of major focus. I hope they do [sign] - I’ve had great conversations with the pair of them and I hope that they can commit for the long term future of the Football Club.”
Meanwhile, it was confirmed earlier this week that Dale will again be travelling to Tenerife during pre-season. Hill has praised the “superb” T3 facilities.
“Going to Tenerife again is recognition for the football club from the Chairman and the Board of Directors about how important that week was last year. The training facilities were superb and it gives us a unique opportunity to bond and have in excess of 12, sometimes 14, training sessions throughout the week long period, which prepares us for the pre-season games and for the forthcoming season.”