Monthly Archives: May 2013

Stoke Dilemma: Can Hughes Or Di Matteo Eclipse Pulis Power

The Stoke City job appears to be going to former Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, QPR and Fulham boss Mark Hughes, although Roberto Di Matteo (who has managed MK Dons, WBA and Chelsea FC) looks to be the latest of the ex-Chelsea contingent (Gus Poyet has been approached too) to be linked with one of the Premiership’s toughest asks.  Chelsea charm comes with cash, whilst Stoke’s Premiership lineage has been forged as much through perspiration as inspiration. Pulis power is about physical prowess, under him the realism of the artisan’s toil, reaps hard won returns and the reliability of regular rewards. But that is not enough for some, who chastise long ball football and the stiff necks that come from looking skywards. But how many ex-Premiership chairmen later lament reaching for the very same sky.

Thankyou for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Tony Pullis has never been relegated as a manager, but image and perception is so much more than substance, facts & stats and the boring, solid day-to-day stuff that goes on behind the scenes. We live in a media-orientated world alright, where the people’s game seems to be less and less about traditional values and the virtues of hard-work, particularly once  the Premiership glitz and glamour has caught owners in its midst.  Stoke’s owners may feel they are secure and ready to take the next step, but in reality they start on zero points in three months time like everyone else. Ambition may also be a great virtue, a wonderful way to fill a stadium, but failure empties a stadium of the fickle fans, faster than a winger can skin a full-back.

If carpet football is the top priority for Stoke City, then Roberto Di Matteo is the man to bring it. But he, like favourite Hughes, who will bring a more physically robust approach to the table, will need plenty of cash to take the Potters to the next level. Many have tried and failed to break into the Premiership’s platinum plated cartel.  Failure in the Premiership brings a short sharp shock to many sides who fall not once but twice before steadying the ship again. Ask Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, Norwich, Charlton et al.  But football is about theatre, dreams and optimism, so here is a run down of the two who could take Stoke City to the next level.

*****

Mr Di Matteo started his career well at MK Dons, succeeding Paul Ince in 2008. He took the, perhaps unfairly nicknamed, Franchise club to the League 1 play-offs in his first season, losing the semi to Scunthorpe. It was enough to get him the WBA job, where he repaid the faith with an instant return to the Premiership, as runners up behind Newcastle.  Despite getting hammered at Chelsea on the opening day of the 2010/11 season the Baggies recovered well earning Mr Di Matteo a manager of the month award in the September. The swashbuckling style was superb, sweeping counter attacking carpet football, played, perhaps, as only a sweet-toothed Swiss-Italian can conjure.  The defensive side of the Italian game let him down when the wheels well and truly came off the cart. One win in ten cost him his job, with Michael Appleton replacing him, steadying the ship sufficiently to finish 11th.

After failing to get the Birmingham job, Chelsea cast him a lifeline as assistant manager to AVB. Upon his sacking in March 2012 Mr Di Matteo took the helm, winning the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Although this was a fantastic and unique double, many will argue he did little but reverse the square pegs that had been put into round holes by AVB.  That Chelsea side was and still is, nothing short of breath-taking on their day, with a midfield that is a credit to world football. To follow that first three months anywhere, would be a tough ask, but then to please Mr Abramovich is a whole different ball game. After just 8 months in charge he was gone ,dividing fans and pundits alike. Even a champion of the glass half-full club five minutes before closing time, could not envisage Stoke being able to give him the head start he enjoyed at MK Dons and Chelsea. To change the style of the side to his way of thinking will take the sort of time and cash they will not have in the Potteries next season. The romantic in us hopes so for the underdogs sake, but surely it is to dream the impossible dream?

Roberto’s Record

Club Managed Start End Record
G W D L Win %
Milton Keynes Dons 2008 2009 52 27 11 14 51.92
West Bromwich Albion 2009 2011 83 40 19 24 48.19
Chelsea 2012 2012 42 24 9 9 57.14
Overall Record 177 91 39 47 51.41

Mr Hughes has a decent win percentage (39.53%) but he has had the money at every club he has been at. After the less than dreamy, perhaps impossible and deary, dragon’s den days in the fiery Wales job, he guided Blackburn to a top six finish and UEFA cup qualification. The expensive rebuild in the summer of 2005 saw Rovers finish tenth, with a somewhat physical reputation. In the four years Mr Hughes held the helm at Ewood Park his side finished bottom of the Premier fair play League, but never finished outside of the top ten and managed three FA Cup semi finals.  Mr Hughes then chose Manchester City over Chelsea (2008/9) but, despite spending tens of millions (Robinho alone cost £32 million) City could only finish a disappointing tenth. They did reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals but alas, decent home form cannot make up for frequent no shows on the road. Mr Hughes card was marked, much to the benefit of his bank balance one supposes.

After a year out he also managed just a season at Fulham,  before questioning the club’s ambition. Will Stoke be able to afford him that level, or will it end in a spat similar to the one at the Lillywhites, one that saw owner  Mohamed Al-Fayed call Mr Hughes a “strange man” and a “flop”? Mr Hughes soon returned to management with awash with money club QPR in January 2012 and kept them up. An expensive rebuild saw Rangers worst ever start to a top flight season, as they went 12 without a win. Stoke, at a crossroads, will certainly hope history does not repeat itself should he get the job.

The Mark Hughes Clues.

Club Start End Record
G W D L Win %
Wales Sep 1999 Sep 2004 41 12 15 14 29.27
Blackburn Rovers Sep 2004 Jun 2008 188 82 47 59 43.62
Manchester City Jun 2008 Dec 2009 77 36 15 26 46.75
Fulham Jul 2010 Jun 2011 43 14 16 13 32.56
Queens Park Rangers Jan 2012 Nov 2012 34 8 6 20 23.53
Overall Record 382 151 99 132 39.53

Tony Pulis Record

Just for the record, here is what Tony Pulis has done. One has to feel that some club will be lucky to have him. Bournemouth (Div 3 Champions 1986/87), Gillingham (Promoted as runners up Div 3 1995/96 and Div 2 Play-off winner 1998/99) and Stoke (Promoted as Championship runners up 2007/8, FA Cup runner up 2010/11) all did well under him, albeit ‘enjoying’ some physical, long ball tactics.

 
Club Start End Record
G W D L Win %
Bournemouth 9 June 1992 5 August 1994 107 31 38 38 28.97
Gillingham 31 July 1995 1 July 1999 216 94 62 60 43.52
Bristol City 5 July 1999 14 January 2000 33 10 14 9 30.30
Portsmouth 13 January 2000 12 October 2000 35 11 10 14 31.43
Stoke City 1 November 2002 28 June 2005 131 47 32 52 35.88
Plymouth Argyle 23 September 2005 14 June 2006 39 12 15 12 30.77
Stoke City 14 June 2006 21 May 2013 333 122 98 113 36.64
Total 894 327 269 298 36.58

8 Alan Power (Midfield & Captain)

At times last season Alan Power rediscovered the ability seen by Nottingham Forest and Hartlepool United, when they offered him two year deals. Indeed during his time at Forest he became reserve captain and was a highly regarded, busy, scheming, tenacious lad, who not only graduated with sufficient honours to earn a two year pro-deal, but also played for the Ireland youth set-up through to the under 21′s. He has signed a new two year deal in Impdom but will however face stiff competition from Stockport County imports Nolan and Rowe. Optimistically or pessimistically the fact that Alan is captain and, was player of the season last year, is perhaps a bigger reflection on The Imps than many realise.

Nottingham Forest.svgGrays ath.jpgHartlepool United FC.pngRushden & Diamonds.svgLincoln City F.C. badge.png

KEY = St= starts, Sub= On as Sub, Mins = minutes on the pitch, Ass= Assists, F’s= Fouls, F’ed=Fouled, YC=Yellow Cards, RC= Red Cards. 
No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
8 Power 16 0 1440 1 5 7 3 18 9 3 1
Ratings G Tot Ave
Power 16 115 7.2 8 8 8 7 7 6 6 6 8 7

As a 19 year-old Alan made one first team appearance for Forest against the Posh in  (2007)  in the FL trophy. He was then loaned to Grays, then a BSP club, but,  after his contract at Forest ran down, The Monkey-hangers of  Hartlepool stepped in and offered him a two year deal. He made just 8 non-appearance, unable to break into the first 11, before going to Rushden. He was reborn, albeit at a struggling club, with the Imps stepping in, just in time, at the end of the season.

Power, Alan.jpg

At times you feel he has the ability to run the show, to bob and weave and find that killer pass. His six assists and 11 goals show what can be when he is on his game.  Despite an injury leading up to Christmas he came back strong and struck the penalty that saved our skins at home to the Lambs. Arguably his assured penalties won him the player of the season award, but he certainly deserved a new two year deal.

It took him a while to sign it and in reality he will have to be at his best if he is to get ahead of Nolan and Rowe in the central midfield pecking order.  Competition is not a bad thing for the club, but let us hope it does not weigh too heavily, on a true Sincil free spirit. But so often, games and midfield battles can pass him by. Perhaps it was the off-field turmoil and morale sapping  defeats endured by a side who genuinely expected to fair much better; that saw most of the side disappear into their shells for large periods, before Simmo’s galvanising arrival.

Power’s 2012/13 Stats

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
5 Alan Power 38 3 3346 11 77 6 46 44 5 0

Power’s 2011/12 Stats

Sq no Name Starts Sub  Mins Goals Shots Shots on Assists YC RC
8 Alan Power 40 0 3579 4 33 16 4 7 1
8 Alan Power
 Power, Alan.jpg
STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Alan Thomas Daniel Power
DATE OF BIRTH 23 January 1988 (age 25)
PLACE OF BIRTH Dublin, Ireland
HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)/11st 4lb (71.66kg)
PLAYING POSITION Midfielder
Contract: Two year deal to June 2015
CURRENT CLUB Lincoln City
NUMBER 8
YOUTH CAREER
Nottingham Forest
SENIOR STATS (LGE & CUP)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2008 Nottingham Forest 1 (0)
2007–2008 Grays Athletic (loan) 6 (2)
2008–2010 Hartlepool United 8 (0)
2010–2011 Rushden & Diamonds 42 (3)
2011– Lincoln City 83 (15)

Martinez Magic Will Make Everton Smile

It looks like Roberto Martinez will finally be installed as the new Everton Boss subject to last ditch talks with Dave Whelan today. His FA Cup success, though tempered by relegation this year, is a fitting reward for keeping Athletic  in the Premier League.  For Everton it is a flamboyant, gesture, but would Bill Kenwright, who met him earlier this week, really want it any other way? The West End Producer knows how to put on a show and the Martinez brand will certainly do that.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

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After success – a 50% win rate to boot – at Swansea Bobby Martinez spent four seasons at Wigan and, to be fair, his utilisation of the smallest budget in the league, has been the football equivalent of turning water into wine. Everton, may have vastly superior resources, but they too are paupers compared to the top 6, so it will take a special kind of character to emulate, let alone eclipse David Moyes. But Roberto is the man who can.

His best quality is his ability to bring things back from the brink he did it three times and failed at the fourth attempt. During his first season at Wigan, Bobby dodged the trapdoor in 2009/10, beating 3 of the big four. During the late charge, the Wigan trademark, they came from 2 down to beat Arsenal 3-2 and beat Liverpool. They failed to do the double over Chelsea, losing 8-0 on the final day. The Toffee’s won’t tolerate that kind of hammering, nor the 9-1 defeat at Spurs earlier in that season, but they have a strong spine and the defensive quality to allow his attacking instincts to entertain the Gwladys Street End at the heart of one of English football’s most atmospheric stadiums.

It is a big step up for him, because the expectations are high at the School of Science, also nicknamed the Peoples club. Apt then that one that champions the finer points of the people’s game, throughout his playing journey from Real Zaragosa to Chester, will do it with style and an optimistic smile.  That will be good for football and the Evertonians, who, perhaps more than most, deserve to be bashing the Big 5 Bastille door down.

Team From To G W D L Win %
Swansea City 24 February 2007 15 June 2009 126 63 37 26 50.00
Wigan Athletic 15 June 2009 Present 176 51 47 78 28.98
Overall Record 302 114 84 104 37.75

Imps Eye Middlesbrough and Sunderland Youth Talent.

The Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland FC friendlies may have more to them than first meets the eye.  Grant will doubtless have had something to do with the Sunderland game (he hails from there) and ex-Imp Jamie Clapham is currently working as Middlesbrough FC’s Senior Professional Development Phase Coach.  STMI’s gut feeling is that Simmo and Grant will use their contacts to ensure there will be some quality trialists from both of these North-East giants, as pre-season training kicks off in little over a month. Ben Futcher (Bury FC Development Coach) might also be able to help us with some loans from Gigg Lane.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Middlesbrough Football Club CrestLincoln City F.C. badge.png Logo Sunderland.svg

Jamie Clapham, finally managed to play for his home town club, after Tottenham had nicked him from under our noses. Our youth set-up and scouting network has certainly come on since the 90’s, which is a credit to Chris Moyses money, drive and ambition for the Imps. Clapham, just 37, will be keen to blood some of his young charges at a club with a management team that will commit to give them a regular game, just as the Imps will want to use the loan budget to get in some half and, perhaps full-season youth loans.  Holdsworth got the loans but oh so many were pulled back, when they did not get a game.

Middlesbrough Football Club Crest

Middlesborough

Boro play their reserve and under 18 games at Rockliffe Park, near Hurworth.  Clapham is ably assisted by Mark Tinkler and youth guru Stan Dixon, although another ex-full-back Mark Cooper is leaving to manage The Monkeyhangers at Hartlepool. Middlesborough were Champions of the prestigious Central League in 2010/11 whilst the Academy side more than punch above their weight in the FA Premier Academy League. The Imps will need an understudy keeper, although Farman is unlikely to give a loan too much opportunity, so we may not see Luke Coddington, or Shane Bland at Sincil Bank for 5 months. Winger come striker Ross Grosvenor looks useful, as does Charlie Wyke, although he has already spent a season long loan at Hartlepool United. Jake Fowler, Chris Howard and Adam Garrity also have good futures ahead of them.  Left back/left winger Adam Reach would certainly fit the six-foot soldier bill – he is already 6′ 5″ and still growing.  However he made 9 starts and 9 appearances from the bench last season, so perhaps he is, pardon the pun, out of our reach.

Logo Sunderland.svg

Sunderland

Ex- Grimsby youth team boss Robbie Stockdale is running the youth with Kevin Ball serving as Senior Professional Development Coach. Keeper Jordan Pickford spent time on loan at Alfreton last term and could be sent on loan again. The Midfielders include ADAM REED , ALEJANDRO GORRIN , BILLY KNOTT and WADE JOYCE (click on any name and you will be directed to the official Sunderland site for a pen-pic).  The strikers look useful too –  ADAM MITCHELL , CRAIG LYNCH , JORDAN LAIDLER and RYAN NOBLE.  The under 18’s squad is also worth a glance here and Andrew Cartwright has some Lincolnshire connections, through his dad, that sees him as an interesting dark horse.

Several of these players will be on show in July’s friendlies against Sunderland U21 (Wed 24/7 7.00pm) and Middlesbrough U21 (Sat 27/7 2.00pm). Clearly any kind of tie-up with these two giants would be a massive bonus. Last season was not the time to chance youngsters, as we lacked the leadership on the pitch at times to keep us up, let alone giving any young lads a decent opportunity to shine. However that is changing during an exciting opening phase to the Simpson rebuild at Sincil Bank.  With money tight, the loan budget goes twice as far, with old pals acts and favours the name of the game. Perhaps Futcher, another ex-Imp, might also help us out.  Bury are going through another financial crisis and it has been of some surprise not to see us make a move for a permanent signing by now.  Simmo has been tentatively linked with a Gigg Lane raid.

Mmmm The Imps Squad Looks Tasty.

Given the raids on Stockport County, Burton Albion and Macclesfield Town, the Imps squad is already starting to look like a formidable unit next year.  The future of former Sheffield Wednesday hotshot and current Lincoln City, ‘darling of the D’  is still up in the air but sources within agents circles suggest that Boyce and Miller will put pen to paper next week.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

We have another week to look forward to, further boosting, it has to be said, an already impressive squad. That is not just for the money, for the quality is there, as is the desire from players willing to take a lower wage. They believe in the management team who have sold them a vision and, relatively speaking, a heritage and passionate fan-base who will follow them to the ends of the earth. So many of the ingredients already appear to be there to provide a lot more than the sombre Sincil Bank sustenance we have become used to. Given the current call on the budget (it has grown thanks to 3 directors willingness to put hands in pockets and, as ever, the fans responding with over 700 season ticket sales thus far) 20 players looks the likely model.

So on the face of it we need 6 more to sign. There is also a loan budget that will allow for  up to 3-4 to come in. Simmo has already sprung a few surprises for Macc, with raids on some top North-West clubs as well as his Yorkshire homeland. If he had gone to Stockport there is no doubt our league fates would have been reversed due to the loan window opportunities at the time. They certainly have a football Mafia either side of the Pennines, with half the clubs relying on the loan side to make the sums add up.

Defensively speaking we only have a right and left back on the face of it, so look out for a conclusion with regard to Nat Brown coming on board permanently, Diagne choosing between us and at least 3 clubs, then further targets accepting deals. Miller will be as massive to us as Boyce, his versatility is fantastic. Indeed according to a contact, a cruciate ligament injury (this is the knee one that kept Shearer and others out and once ended careers) was the only thing between him and fulfilling his promise during his 2-year deal there. Should neither sign, two more centre-backs will arrive, possibly on six month loans or a permanent basis.

The midfield is mouthwatering, in truth Power could struggle to get in. Rowe is an attacking central midfielder straight out of the Lee Frecklington mould. Like our ex-Frecktanian his swashbuckling style, along-side no nonsense Nolan, bolstered by a decent defensive midfield, gives us scope for more than hope in an area that has been our perennial downfall.  Up front youth will get a chance with Connor and Jordan eager to earn a place in a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, attacking 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1 or perhaps even a traditional 4-4-2. Fairhurst is a cracker and, if Yussuff can stay fit, Vadaine or another big lad will complement a side that screams goals.

 The new  2013/14 Lincoln City Squad and Stats page is already up, with player profiles and up to date stats including games and minutes played,  goals, assists, card counts, fouls and even the clean sheets and goals conceded for keepers. Imps can find it after the home page on the menu at the top of the site. or you can book mark/add to favourites by clicking here . Then Click on the name and it will take you to the pen pic / profile of the relevant Lincoln City hero. As the season unfurls a match stats and form table will appear.

Welcome to the Lincoln City Squad page for 2013/14, 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Goalkeepers

Paul Farman

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Defenders

Dan Gray,  Sean Newton

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Midfielders

Danny RoweJon Nolan, Alan Power, Todd Jordan,  Karl Cunningham, Mamadou FofanaJake Sheridan

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Strikers

Wade FairhurstAdi YussufConner Robinson, Jordan Thomas

Simmo Bags A Striking Fox – Who Is Adi Yussuf

Leicester City expected great things of Adi, but injury wrecked his chances at the Walkers Stadium. Ditto Tamworth FC and Burton Albion, who saw enough in pre-season to sign him for a year. So just who is Adi Yussuf and, will lady luck finally smile on a player who has the ability and desire to get a second bite at the championship?

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Leicester City logo

Having impressed at the Leicester City Youth Academy under the Direction of John Rudkin and ex-Imp Trevor Peake (Nicky Eaden is also there as a coach) Adi was given a 3 year youth deal at 16.  He was a regular in the U18’s and reserves, before going on loan to Tamworth at just 17. It was of no surprise as his trademarks, explosive acceleration and power, see him get behind defences to lethal effect. Alas that has been his downfall,  with the mystery injury leading to an abundance of hamstring and other strain injuries, seeing him sit out seasons that have looked promising. A loan to Tamworth in 2010/11 was cut short after 2 goals (Eastbourne & Harriers) and 2 assists (Darlo & Harriers again) in just 6 starts.  It was not enough to earn a new deal at the Foxes as he was axed along with 10 others when Sven-Göran Eriksson wielded the axe backed by New owners King Power International, who wanted instant success. Like Notts County they learned it takes more than a reputation and wads of cash to achieve that, with Nigel Pearson picking up not so few broken pieces, before moulding a side that achieved 6th in the Championship last season. Only Watford denied them a £120million shot this weekend.

Burton Albion crest

Manager Paul Peschisolido rated Adi highly enough to give him a one year deal after  an exciting pre-season. The 18 year old bided his time, scored in the 6-3 demolition of Barnet during the 2011/12 season, but failed to break into the starting line-up, with injury providing as big an obstacle as competition.  Last season was a similar story with just 3 starts, plus 8 from the bench, before injury curtailed any first team involvement from October, leading to his release in May. It was a decent season for Burton, who nearly got promotion, beating Bradford 3-2 at Valley Parade before being edged out of the semi 4-5 on aggregate.  Kee, Maghoma and Zola were also in fine form bagging 42 goals between them.

Adi, will go one of two ways now. If he finally breaks the injury sequence, that is well overdue odds-wise, then we have a winner. Remember Spencer Weir-Dayley? Well this lad can peel off the shoulder just like Spencer, but he also has the power to beat anyone over 100 yards. A long-ball with him on the chase will have us out of our seats, more in expectation than just hope, as he has a great first touch and accurate shot on him. It’s like a bullet too and the 6 foot 1″ striker is a real handful for a defnder both in the air and on the ground.

This one is certainly a gamble on the manager’s part. But Adi is another lad who is coming here to prove his talent as opposed to sitting on a lucrative contract. He is lean he is mean and he is keen. Good Luck Adi you are joining a club on the turn, let us hope it is catching!

Adi’s Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
18 Adi Yussuf 3 8 409 1 14 0 11 6 1 0
Adi’s Stats 2011/12
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
18 Adi Yussuff 2 17 473 1 9 1 11 4 0 0
Yussuf, Abdillahie.jpg Thanks for the pic WIKIPEDIA
STMI Biopic
Full name Abdillahie Yussuf
Date of birth 3 October 1992 (age 20)
Place of birth Zanzibar, Tanzania
Height / Weight 6′ 1″ (1.85m) 11 st 13 lb (76 kg)
Position: Striker
Youth career Leicester City
Imps Contract 1 year (plus option)
Senior career
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
2008–2011 Leicester City 0 (0)
2011 Tamworth (loan) 10 (2)
2011–2013 Burton Albion 25 (1)
2013– Lincoln City 0 (0)

From Everton Blue Nose To Red Imp – Who Is Jon Nolan

Simmo has bagged competitive ex-Everton FC Reserve and Stockport County favourite Jon Nolan on a free. The competitive midfield general in the making is the all-round midfielder that has eluded Impdom since Michael Connor failed to join, after a fabulous loan, that saw him rise and shine at Scunthorpe United. Like Butch he is a box-to-box blue nose who is equipped to play higher, so let us chew over top Toffee and Hatter Jon Nolan.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Everton F.C. (2013).svg

Jon went through the Everton Youth system, making regular U18 and reserve appearances. Indeed many were surprised that he did not make the cut, although David Moyes – a fan – is spoilt for choice at a youth academy that has produced Rooney et al.  Everton are one of England’s giants, pipped only by the incredible financial bridge created by the Champions League, but their youth set-up, a veritable conveyor belt, has saved them the tens of millions necessary to be able to compete in the top half of the Premiership. When Jon steps out onto the Theatre of the Absurd his technical ability will shine like a sixpence up a chimney sweeps backside.  Alas his Goodison dream was not to be, as he and Moses Barnett trialled at Watford, who dithered due to financial issues at the time. back in the seasonal sunset of  2010. So Jon elected instead to join Stockport along with, ex-Crewe and Macc striker John Miles and Tranmere youth product Ryan Fraughan. The competition might have been easier, but ‘from frying pan and into the fire’ comes to mind.

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Stockport and the North-West clubs certainly enjoy a huge advantage over their East Midlands rivals when it comes to loans and the incredible quality of the cast-offs. Simmo’s former number two Glyn Chamberlein is still based up that way, which speaks volumes for another of football’s quiet, productive, perhaps quintessential, scouts. But when your new employers have just been relegated from the League, the baptism is bound to be harder, even at a well-supported proud club. The Imps and Hatters demise showed many parallels, one we reversed, just, this Spring. Stockport however are still in decline, with the puppet show the Hatters have going on behind the scenes, doing encore after encore it seems.

Naturally it is not easy for the players and the managers who go through the inevitable revolving door. Jon however has learned the hard way in a losing side that ultimately failed to beat the drop last term, this after a struggling season the year before. He will be one of the fittest and most technically gifted players in our side. His energy levels and strength will come into their own this season in a side that Simmo is packing full of leaders and six-foot soldiers. This will help the 21-year-old to mature, keep his head and become the complete midfield player the Imps have needed for years.

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Jon chose Simmo and the Imps for football reasons, warming to the enticing words and warm reputation of Gary Simpson, a man with a vision to finally create a football club Impdom deserves. Despite a package half that of a southern based BSP club, he wants to grow under the guidance of one of the games more effective, but like himself, uncelebrated characters. Give him a huge welcome and, at times initially, a bit of patience. This lad is a Rolls Royce engine, perfect for a side that looks as if it can challenge for the play-offs and put Lincoln City back on the football map.

Welcome to Impdom Jon, stand tall, play your football and start to show what David Moyes and co saw not that long ago.

Jons Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
18 Jon Nolan 24 8 2270 3 27 4 18 56 7 1
Jons Stats 2011/12
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
18 Jon Nolan 18 12 1691 0 18 1 25 32 3 0
STMI Biopic
Full name Jon Nolan
Date of birth 22 April 1992 (age 21)
Place of birth Huyton
Height/Weight 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) 11 st 5lb (72kg)
Playing position Midfield General
Contract: One Year (plus option)
Youth Career Everton
Senior career
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
2011-2013 Stockport County 62 (3)
2013– Lincoln City 0 (0)

7 Waide Fairhurst (Striker)

The Imps capture of former Doncaster Rovers striker Waide Fairhurst is remarkable given the competition we faced for the lad.  Having previously caught the eye of Shrewsbury Town, Southend United, Hereford United and Macclesfield Town, who released him, he opted to rejoin Simmo at well below the deal offered by another BSP club.  This lad is coming to score goals and will feast on the chances that Rowe and Newton will afford him, for Waide is cleanest striker of a football at the Imps apart from Rowe.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

 KEY = St= starts, Sub= On as Sub, Mins = minutes on the pitch, A= Assists, F’s= Fouls, F’ed=Fouled, YC=Yellow Cards, RC= Red Cards. 
No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
7 Fairhurst 5 4 495 2 3 9 0 2 1 0 0
Ratings G Tot Ave
Fairhurst 9 66 7.3   7     7 7   7   7

A prolific youth striker for Donny Waide scored two goals in two starts after signing his first pro deal. It was hard for the youngster to break into the Rovers first 11 during his three year deal, which showed faith in itself. His debut came against Coventry, with Doncaster enjoying a phase in the Championship following a meteoric rise, playing it has to be said, some princely passing football. They destroyed us in a cup game one Tuesday night.  Wade layed on an assist against Palace, then scored against WBA and Ipswich.

With chances few and far between in the Championship, Waide went on loan to Shrewsbury, in October 2009, grabbing 4 goals in 10 appearances. Alas he was forced to cut the loan short and returned to Rovers in the  December thanks to injury.  After 6 weeks out with a broken toes he got two goalless opportunities against WBA and Ipswich. The following season Southend took him for a month before Hereford stepped in during Feb 2010. He bagged a brace on his debut against Cheltenham, scored two games later in the 1-1 draw with Northampton, before failing to find the net in a further dozen games in a struggling side.

Simmo signed him for Macc and it is fair to say he began to blossom after Gary left. Last season Waide hit 13 goals in 43 games for the Silkmen, including braces against Woking and Braintree. He is not the tallest, but he has a competitive streak about him. He has a good touch and the look of a young Jamie Taylor about him. His first touch is championship level and his predatory instincts first class. He got two thirds of 79 shots on target last season, adding 3 assists to his decent 13 goal tally.

This signing is another example of the craft Simmo has learned from Keith Alexander. He waited patiently as the clock clicked passed his 24th birthday on May 7th. This allowed teams to sign him for free as soon as the two-year deal he signed in 2011, came to an end in June. However, Maccs financial state ahead of a planned takeover(there are rumours of late payments to players), allowed his former gaffer to sign him.

Welcome aboard Waide,

Waides Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
20 Waide Fairhurst 31 12 2458 13 79 3 15 32 5 0
STMI Biopic
Full name Waide Simon Fairhurst
Date of birth 7 May 1989 (age 24)
Place of birth Sheffield, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) 11 st (69.84kg)
Playing position Striker
Contract: One Year (plus option)
Current club Lincoln City
Senior career
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
2008–2011 Doncaster Rovers 10 (2)
2009 Solihull Moors (loan) 5 (2)
2009–2010 Shrewsbury Town (loan) 10 (4)
2010 Southend United (loan) 3 (0)
2011 Hereford United (loan) 16 (3)
2011–2013 Macclesfield Town 61 (13)
2013– Lincoln City 9 (2)

9 Danny Rowe (Striker Attacking Midfield)

Manchester United incredibly agreed up to £136,000 with Preston North End for Danny at 12. Fleetwood Town also paid good money for the 23 year-old who spent last season on loan at Stockport County and Barrow. This is a landmark signing and shows the scope of Simmo’s ambition for Lincoln City as he can play in an attacking midfield, wing or central striking role. For Danny, the one year deal is a chance to ram those promising youth comments down the throats of those who wanted him to develop gently and Simmo will give him every bit of help he can to follow in the footsteps of his million pound plus finds.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

 KEY = St= starts, Sub= On as Sub, Mins = minutes on the pitch, Ass= Assists, F’s= Fouls, F’ed=Fouled, YC=Yellow Cards, RC= Red Cards. 
No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
9 Rowe 6 2 492 1 6 7 0 6 6 2 0
Ratings G Tot Ave
Rowe 8 58 7.3 7

Danny became the star of the Manchester United U13 side, scoring for fun in the FA Premier Academy League. Preston were not best pleased as they had developed him from the age of six only to lose him at 12, when United offered him a 4 year deal (lads can’t properly join the payroll until 16).  It went to tribunal with staggered payments agreed. The payments were to be £8,000 up front, £8,000 if Daniel signined a scholarship, £20,000 when he turned pro and £100,000 after 10 first-team appearances. Preston had argued that he would have been worth a million if he had gone through their system and then been sold. It might have been the best option for a lad who was swamped at United despite the teenage promise.

Kendal Town took him on and after an impressive first half to the season he was sold to Fleetwood with Nathan Pond coming on loan the other way.  Danny was sent out on loan to gain experience in the first half of the 2011/12 season, becoming the BSN player of the month in November, a month that saw him bang in 7 goals.  Danny got 12 for the bloods in his short stay and caught Stockport’s eye hammering in another 8 including a brace against the Imps when County trounced us 4-0 in April 2012.

Danny spent the first half of last season on loan at Stockport, a side in meltdown on and off the pitch, playing in a variety of positions, mainly from the bench to the frustration of the Edgeley faithful.  He got one goal and laid on 3 in just 612 sporadic minutes of football. Fleetwood then sent him on a half season loan to Barrow in January.  Danny was an inspiration at the relegation haunted Bluebirds who almost escaped the drop. He scored 4 and was credited with 3 assists, although his all round contribution led to far more (he played with namesake Danny Rowe at Barrow confusing the life out of the stattos).

Raid the bookies Imps. This lad will be the first player since Yeo (bow thrice) to bag 20 goals. He has it all. He has the touch and brain of Jamie Taylor. He is a playmaker, who can turn a game either as an attacking central midfielder or left-winger. At 6′ 1″ he can play as a target man or support striker.  His signing should worry Power, who has still to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Welcome Danny, with assist king Sean Newton also aboard Sincil salivates……………….

Danny’s Stockport Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
10 Danny Rowe 5 9  612 1 n/a 3 n/a n/a 0 0
Danny’s Barrow Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
30 Danny Rowe 15 2  1652 4 n/a 3 n/a n/a 1 0
STMI Biopic
Full name Danny Lucas Rowe
Date of birth 29 January 1990 (age 23)
Place of birth Blackpool,
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 84Kg (13 st 2 lb)
Position: LW/AMC / CF
Current club Lincoln City
Number 11
Youth career
1996–2008 Preston /Manchester United
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2010 Kendal Town 14 (11)
2010-13 Fleetwood 7 (0)
2011 Droylesdon (loan) 12 (12)
2013 Stockport County (loan x 2) 22 (9)
2013 Barrow (loan) 17 (4)

Who Is Sean Newton?

The Imps have signed Stockport County and former Chester City, Barrow and AFC Telford, left-back Sean Newton today. The former fans favourite will be a big hit with the Imps faithful, as he gets up and down the line like a bull through a china shop, a veritable Newton’s cradle of energy that dispenses the theory of relativity to full-backs and wingers left in his wake.

Sean has phenomenal pace and takes a great free-kick, scoring 5 times for The Hatters last season.  He does get some goals for a full-back as well, 6 last season as well as netting 12 in 109 aps for Telford before going on loan and, eventually becoming a permanent signing last summer.

Still only 24, Sean is an inspirational lad and just makes Simmo’s height criteria at 6′ 2″. Sean scored 6 goals and laid on 6 assists last season, firing off 49 shots from a left-foot cannon.  His tackling and shadowing are first rate, with just two yellow cards in his 44 appearances last term. He is infectious lad, on and off the field, who will build morale no end, to become one of the leaders we will need all over the park this season

Welcome aboard Sean,

Sean Newton’s Stockport Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
3 Sean Newton 43 1  3877 6 49 6 41 23 2 0
STMI Biopic
Full name Sean Michael Newton
Date of birth 23 September 1988 (age 24)
Place of birth Liverpool,
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 87Kg (13 st 6 lb)
Position: Left Back
Current club Stockport County
Number 3
Youth career
2005–2007 Chester City
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Chester City 2 (0)
2007 Southport (loan) 13 (1)
2008 Droylsden (loan) 15 (1)
2008–2009 Droylsden 35 (5)
2009 Barrow 4 (0)
2009–2012 AFC Telford United 109 (12)
2012 Stockport County (loan) 7 (1)
2012– Stockport County 43 (6)
National team
2009– England C 2 (1)