Bailey playing for Northwich Victoria in 2009
|Full name||Mathew John Bailey|
|Date of birth||12 March 1986|
|Place of birth||Crewe, England|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Playing position||Defender / Striker|
|2004||→ Scunthorpe United (loan)||4||(0)|
|2005||→ Northwich Victoria (loan)||5||(0)|
|2005||→ Hereford United (loan)||5||(1)|
|2006||→ Southport (loan)||2||(0)|
|2006||→ Lancaster City (loan)|
|2007||→ Barrow (loan)|
|2008||→ Weymouth (loan)||9||(0)|
|2008||→ Hinckley United (loan)|
|2013-2014||AFC Telford United||5||(0)|
|2013||→ Nantwich Town (loan)||7||(2)|
|2013||→ Nantwich Town (dual registration)||0||(0)|
|2015||AFC Telford United||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:28, 6 November 2013 (UTC).
As a youth, Bailey started his career at non-League outfit Nantwich Town, where he impressed Football League outfit Stockport County enough to earn a trial for The Hatters. Whilst on trial, he impressed manager Carlton Palmer who offered Bailey a three-year contract, which Bailey duly signed. Under new manager Sammy McIlroy, Bailey impressed in the reserves and was sent out on a one-month loan to League Two outfit Scunthorpe United at the start of the 2004–2005 season, making his début against Rochdale, a 3–1 defeat for Scunthorpe. He played in 4 first team matches whilst at Glanford Park, scoring 0 goals. He returned to Stockport in October 2004 and his début under McIlroy in the 2–0 defeat against Wrexham in the Football League Trophy. McIlroy was sacked in late November and was replaced by Chris Turner. Bailey made his league début under Turner in the League One game against Chesterfield as an 89th minute substitute, replacing Mark Robertson. Bailey was sent out on loan to Conference National outfit Northwich Victoria for a month, making his début at Carlisle United, a 1–0 defeat for Northwich. He played in 5 first team matches whilst at Victoria Stadium, scoring 0 goals. He was released by Stockport in May 2005.
Whilst on loan at Northwich Victoria, Bailey trained with Championship outfit Crewe Alexandra and scored twice in an under-18 game for The Railway Men and this performance impressed manager Dario Gradi enough to earn a one-year contract in May 2005. During the 2005–06 season, Bailey went out on loan to non-league outfits Hereford United, Southport and Lancaster City to gain vital first team match experience, but despite not breaking into the first team during the season and Crewe's relegation to League One, he was offered a one-year contract extension. In the 2006–07 season, Bailey found himself in a similar situation to the previous season, failing to break into the first team and being sent out on loan, to Conference North outfit Barrow, playing in 10 games, scoring 0 goals. Despite this, he was offered another one-year extension to his contract. Bailey made his Alexandra début on 1 September 2007 in a 1–1 draw at Swindon Town, replacing Tom Pope in the 82nd minute.
Change of position
Bailey did not impress manager Dario Gradi as a striker. Gradi, who had trained the likes of David Platt and Dean Ashton in their early years, announced his intention to convert Bailey from a striker to a defender, in the centre back position. Gradi didn't expect Bailey to push through and challenge as a first team centre back until the start of 2008. Bailey then went on to mark his full debut for Alexandra away at outfit Oldham Athletic in the second round of the FA Cup, where he played at centre back. Bailey went on loan to Weymouth for a month in March 2008. Bailey played in 4 games for Weymouth, scoring no goals. When he returned to Crewe, Bailey did not feature in the team and he was released by the club on May 2008, after playing three games for Crewe, scoring no goals.
AFC Telford United
- "Bailey Is 'Work in Progress'". Crewe Alexandra official website. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- "Gradi believes in Bailey talent". BBC Sport. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- "Oldham 1–0 Crewe". BBC Sport. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
- "Terras set to sign Crewe's Bailey". BBC Sport. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008.