FREE agent Alex Bradley admitted he became “stale” at West Bromwich Albion and was “glad” to leave this summer.

Having joined the Baggies at the age of seven, Worcester-born Bradley spent 13 years at The Hawthorns.

Last season saw the 20-year-old midfielder feature for the Championship club’s under 23s and impress on loan at Havant and Waterlooville and Burton Albion.

But first-team opportunities at West Brom failed to materialise for Bradley who announced his departure in May and is now looking for a new club.

“Whenever I played for the under 23s I gave it my all like I did in every game,” Bradley said.

“But I just didn’t get the chance in the first team that I thought I maybe deserved.


“I was told to move on and search for first-team football somewhere else.

“I do look back at my time at West Brom with fond memories but I do think that it was definitely time for me to leave.

“I got stale in the last year or two and I was not really progressing as much as I could have been.

“I am glad I am out of there.

“Not to sound harsh or say a bad word about the club but it was time for me to move on.”

Bradley, whose talents were first spotted playing for Ledbury Swifts, landed a one-year contract extension at Albion in March last year and he had high hopes heading into the 2018-19 campaign.

But the ex-Royal Grammar School Worcester pupil said he felt that whatever he did it would not be enough to secure a place in the senior side.

“I went on a pre-season tour with the first team to Portugal,” Bradley said.

“I trained really well and from the feedback I got I thought I would have been given more of a chance to train with them every day.

“But it just didn’t work out that way and I never got a chance in the first team whereas others that had not been there as long as I had and were younger than me were given chances.

“I sometimes think that in football, like any job, if your face fits then they will push you on.

“But some players were there just to make the numbers up. I think that’s the harsh reality of football.”

Bradley got his first taste of men’s football for Havant and Waterlooville in the National League.

He then went to Burton where he made seven appearances off the bench in League One, scoring in the final-day defeat at Peterborough United.

Birmingham-based Bradley, whose parents live in Colwall, said it became clear in January that he would not be offered a new deal at Albion.

“It didn’t really matter how well you trained or performed they were just saying that you need to keep playing well and your chance will come,” Bradley said.

“But I don’t think that was the case.

“For some players as much effort as they put in they are just cast aside and for some of the young players at West Brom that is how it was for us.

“There were two or three there that were given chances when their attitude was not better than anyone else’s. If anything, it was probably worse.

“But they were given a chance because the club wanted to give them a chance.

“It became a bit stale for me as I was just training with the under 23s and going out on loan.

“It just got stagnant.”