Crewe Eye Clucas A Sly Fox & Bull Who Also Slipped Imps Net.

Crewe Alexander look set to sign ex-Leicester City, Imp and Hereford United midfielder and player of the year Sam Clucas. Sam may have failed to make the grade at Leicester City after 6 years as a youth, but never gave up, choosing instead to study Sports Development at Lincoln college, funded by a job at Debenhams, before being signed by Jacko at Lincoln. He then spent most of his time at the Imps running around a pitch with Richard Butcher, as a fellow Chris Sutton outcast, before moving on to Hereford to become Captain at just 21.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Leicester City logoHereford UnitedLincoln City F.C. badge.pngCrewe Alexandra crest

Sam’s 9 goals from 44 appearances for the Bulls, 5 in the last 6 games including a beautiful brace at Telford on the final day, was a tremendous, thoroughly deserved triumph last year. At just 21, he had kept the faith, harnessed his frustration and delivered. Sam, a box-to-box midfielder, played mainly on the wing last term, takes his chances and has a shot that reminds one of a now departed player, who was there when he needed someone, to keep his flickering football candle burning.  A move to Crewe will further unlock his undoubted technique, but when it comes to determination he is out on his own, well almost…….

The late Richard Butcher had plenty of pearls of wisdom for the young lad, as the two were cut off from the main squad and forced to endlessly run around the training ground. He kept the young lads spirits up at a time when the harsher side of football life threatened a driven lads career. Signed by Jacko, who described him as ‘a real find’, the ex-Lincoln College lad, was destined to become little more than a publicity stunt, facing the ‘moving on’ process despite not being given a chance to show his ability.  His choice to turn down a scholarship in the States for Lincoln, appeared to be a wrong one.

Richard often talked of their time together.  With Sutton keen to free up the budget, the endless runs and isolation from the squad is a time honoured psychological way to force a player out. This would ensure a player either elects to move to another club or  commit a breach of contract that would benefit the club. Fines of up to two weeks wages or the ability to negotiate a reduced severance deal allow the club to save money, needed to fund loans or even a new signing. People will think Sutton harsh, but in truth he was following the tricks of the trade.

Sam managed just 63 minutes for the Imps in the Trophy against Darlington.  Missing the cut was as rough as the decision to axe him at the Foxes, after 6 years, despite making it at the Leicester City Academy during the previous 5.

He and Richard actually found out about being transfer listed via the grapevine over the weekend and things came to a head on the Monday morning. The management team asked everyone how their weekend had gone, to which Richard replied, ” Fine other than finding out that I had been transfer listed thanks to a call on my mobile from a rival manager”.

Sam was a determined lad who was keen to hone his skills. Neither breached their contracts, with the two forming a brother-in arms bond. Richard also shared the skills he had learned, with the lad keen to build on his strength and stamina as well as passing, movement and shooting, key elements for a box-to-box midfielder player.  Richard rated Sam’s natural fitness and technique things, he himself, had been singled out for when Sutton first arrived at Lincoln.  He was also impressed with the lads drive and keenness to stay beyond the required time, in what was to all intents and purposes a training regime designed to move both players on.

Sam spent a little time at Lincoln Moorelands before joining the Glenn Hoddle Academy. Here he continued to learn, under the stewardship of  Nigel Spackman, Graham Rix and Dave Beasant, getting outings for Jerez Industrial in the Primera Andaluza League. The club had escaped bankruptcy thanks to £160k loan and the signing of a 5-year deal with The Glenn Hoddle Academy.

Sam signed for Hereford in 2011. The club were relegated but, despite struggling financially the Bulls finished 6th, one place and 10 points off the play-offs.  Sam like many of the players put their careers before their pay-packets as the wage-run was missed in March and April.  Sam will command a compensation fee like Vadaine Oliver as he has been offered a deal by Martin Foyle who rates him highly. He made him an ever-present in the side last year and turned him into a winger. In another twist of fate Richard was changed from a winger to a midfielder by Brian Talbot at Rushden. Even though he would never start a game for the Diamonds, certain influences can shape a career for good.

Good luck Sam, you have always earned your right to play, question is will it be Mansfield or Crewe?

STMI Biopic
Full name Samuel Raymond Clucas
Date of birth 25 September 1990 (age 22)
Place of birth Lincoln, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Hereford United
Number 18
Youth career
2001–2007 Leicester City
Senior Stats
Years Team Apps
2009 Nettleham n/a (?)
2009–2010 Lincoln City 1 (0)
2010 Lincoln Moorlands Railway 4 (?)
2010–2011 Jerez Industrial 12 (?)
2011– Hereford United 62 (9)

Posted on June 4, 2013, in Blue Square zone, Transfer News, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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