“Photo supplied by Andy Fitzsimmons”
Andy Fitzsimmons - Media & Communications
The Crusaders pre season continues to gather momentum and ultimately starts to unravel the new squad for the forthcoming 2016/17 season. Bobby Wilkinson head hunted Nicholas Bignall months ago knowing that if he joined the Crusaders that he would be nursed into the team and would be given time to recover from a reoccurring knee injury.
This intuition and belief has resulted in Nicholas steadily getting back to full fitness but already providing the Crusaders with an awesome fast paced partnership with Nat Jarvis and Stephan Brown.
Born in Reading, Berkshire, Bignall was top scorer for the Reading under-18s in the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons. He signed a two-year professional contract in 2008, and, before making an appearance for Reading, was loaned out to Northampton Town, scoring his first senior goal against Leeds United.
He was loaned out again in January 2009 to Cheltenham Town, where he scored once against Hartlepool United.
Updated 14:25 - 24 Jul 2016 by nigel warrick
He scored twice on his debut for Reading at home to Burton Albion in the first round of the League Cup on 11 August 2009. Later that month he joined Stockport County on loan until January, scoring on his debut against Crewe Alexandra in the Football League Trophy. His first league goal for Stockport came in the 2–1 win over Leyton Orient in September 2009. On 8 October 2010, Bignall signed for Southampton on a one-month loan. He returned to Reading in November and was soon loaned out again, joining Bournemouth for a month. In June 2013 Bignall was released by Reading, though he remained at the club on a non-contract basis to undergo rehabilitation on an injury which he sustained in his final loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers in October 2011. More than two years since his last game, he made his return in a Reading under-21s friendly against Swindon Townin December 2013 and scored a goal.
In March 2014 he joined Basingstoke Town. In May 2016 he joined the Crusaders.