Since joining Leicester City from Blackpool FC on a one year deal in September, 32 year old Imps legend Gary Taylor Fletcher has struggled to get into the Foxes side. GTF has managed just 26 minutes of League action for the third placed Foxes, which is such a waste for a talent who is winding down his career. It would be lift-off if the Foxes would lend him to the cash strapped Imps for a month!
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
GTF got 25 minutes against Blackpool on his debut, then an hour in the 2-1 League Cup win over Derby, however things have been downward since then. The Right-winger came on in the 90th minute of the 2-1 win over Barnsley, but failed to even make the bench in the next two games before being an unused sub at the weekend. GTF is behind 21 year old Anthony Knockaert in the pecking order, who was replaced by Matty James, another talented midfielder who is just 22, in the 2-1 win over Huddersfield at the weekend. As for up top they have an embarrassment of riches in Nugent, Vardy and Hopper.
With the Foxes third and continuing to look Premiership bound and capable of at least a play-off berth if not better, Gary Taylor Fletcher could do with a loan to get match fit. Lincoln might be way down the League but we are just down the road and the return of GTF is just what we need. Lincoln need a winger and a talisman to kick-start a return to the League. Just imagine if he signed for a month – it would put a thousand on the gate if he signed, it would spark a stampede for replica shirt sales.
Dreams and ambition are a great thing, but the realities of life suggest the Imps will be unlikely to get such a massive favour from the Foxes. That said if you don’t ask you don’t get, oh to live the dream and see such a legend another 2-3 times at Sincil Bank before he hangs up his boots. His Lincoln career came courtesy of Keith Alexander who signed a lad he knew from his Northwich Victoria days in 2003. GTF would mesmerise defences and go on to become Supporters Player of the Year in 2003–04 with 19 goals.
GTF then equalled a 106 year old club record when he scored in our six opening games in 2004/5 but finished the season with 11 goals from 45 appearances as the Lincolnshire poacher turned gamekeeper. Jacko spied and applied, nicking him on a free, taking him to Huddersfield where he had to make his mark as a right winger getting 15 in his first season and 11 in his second. During his spell at the Terriers he scored the 500,000 football League goal with a 25-yard beauty into the top corner against the Millers.
Blackpool signed him in 2007 and he would be instrumental in the promotion from the Championship to the Premiership. GTF never broke double figures during his Tangerine period but the artist was certainly a creator and scorer of great goals as opposed to being the great goal-scorer we Imps knew him to be. We could do with either at the moment to catapult this club back to where it belongs. The Nucleus of the side is there but Taylor-Fletcher would give waht the club and the city have been looking for for some time.
Former Blackpool FC, Leyton Orient, Huddersfield Town, Dagenham & Redbridge FC, Hull City and darling of the Stacey-West Gary Taylor-Fletcher has signed for Leicester City on a one-year deal.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
The 32-year-old ex-Blackpool striker is a free agent after failing to agree a new deal after a six year Tangerine dream. His Lincoln career came courtesy of Keith Alexander who signed a lad he knew from his Northwich Victoria days in 2003. GTF would mesmerise defences and go on to become Supporters Player of the Year in 2003–04 with 19 goals. GTF then equalled a 106 year old club record when he scored in our six opening games in 2004/5 but finished the season with 11 goals from 45 appearances as the Lincolnshire poacher turned gamekeeper.
Jacko spied and applied, nicking him on a free, taking him to Huddersfield where he had to make his mark as a right winger getting 15 in his first season and 11 in his second. GT-F is famed for scoring the 500,000 football League goal with a 25-yard beauty into the top corner against Rotherham.
Blackpool signed him in 2007 and he would be instrumental in the promotion from the Championship to the Premiership. GTF never broke double figures during his Tangerine period but the artist was certainly a scorer of great goals as opposed to being the great goal-scorer we Imps knew him to be.
Leicester have brought in class and experience, even at 32 he will be a handful as GTF was always able to do the first yard or two in his head. Great natural finisher with both feet and does more spade work than a road digger, why he dribbles like a fat kid in Greggs! Good luck GTF but please come home soon!
Alan Wright has raided Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool FC and Fleetwood Town with Stockport County striker Hattersley also set to cross swords with his former colleagues at Sincil Bank tomorrow. Add former Blackburn Rovers striker Osayamen Osawe (2 in 2 games) into the mix and it is pretty easy to see why The Sandgrounders are just a point behind the Imps and fancied for the play-offs.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Former Villa, Blackburn, Blackpool and Fleetwood star Alan Wright’s signings do look to be a great use of a bottom third budget for the division. As a former defender one would expect him to start from the back. Danny Hurst was a decent keeper at Barrow despite relegation. Defenders Challoner (Blackpool) and Fitzpatrick (New Mills) and free agent Matt Flynn are wise acquisitions. Luke George can play in defence or midfield and was pulling up roses at Stafford Rangers.
Jamie Milligan from his ex-club Fleetwood is a steadying influence in the middle as is Rutherford from Barrow. Another new midfielder, Scott Brown, helped Chester to promotion and ex manager Neil Young stated that “his attitude and professionalism was an example to others”. Striker Danny Hattersley arrives from Stockport and he will be some force up front with Steven Tames.
Wright has also changed from a 4-3-3 formation to Simmo’s cosmopolitan 4-2-3-1 with wins over Luton Town, Aldershot and Gateshead suggest this will be a tough nut to crack. Then again their away form is poor with just one win against Hyde and three defeats including the 1-4 reverse at Tamworth.
|28th June||Danny Hattersley||Stockport||For|
|25th June||Jamie Milligan||Fleetwood||Mid|
|25th June||Paul Rutherford||Barrow||Mid|
|17th May||Danny Hurst||Barrow||Keeper|
|2nd July||Luke George||Stafford Rangers||Def/Mid||Free|
|13th July||Scott Brown||Chester||Mid|
|13th July||Matt Flynn||Free agent||Def|
|25th July||Matt Challoner||Blackpool||Def|
|26th July||David Fitzpatrick||New Mills||Def|
|8th August||Osayamen Osawa||Blackburn||Striker|
|July||Alan Moogan||AFC Telford|
|July||Russell Benjamin||AFC Telford|
|June||Simon Grand||AFC Telford|
|June||Neil Byrne||AFC Telford|
|June||Chris Lever||AFC Telford|
While Chesterfield FC contemplate signing former Nottingham Forest & Notts County man-mountain of thrills, spills & skill’s Hamza Bencherif, the Imp that got away – twice – the bean-counters fear they are £130,000 over budget after signing winger Gary Roberts from Swindon Town and defender Ian Evatt from Blackpool. Could Simmo – his business all done before the coming of St Luke remember – yet have the time and energy for one last miracle?
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
The Spireites are determined to get back into League 1 this season and have assembled a side of serious contenders (they beat us 3-1 behind closed doors) for the season ahead. Hamza who had hoped to be plying his trade in the MLS until the deal fell through after leaving Notts County, has been impressing but budget’s are budgets even at the ambitious Spireites it would seem. Chances are they will find the cash, but if not, could Gary Simpson pull another rabbit out of the hat? Far fetched perhaps but Foster? Tomlinson? Rowe? Nolan? Wright? First let us make some semblance of the riddle over the matter of Hamza getting away twice.
Unable to get into Colin Calderwood’s Nottingham Forest side, the manager kindly agreed to a months to get the Algerian under 20 international some much needed match practice. He would work under Schofield and Deeham for just 13 days before they started the Imps annual October manager merry-go-round trend. Hamza started, the day he joined, on Oct 2nd v Bury, then scored in the 2-4 defeat at home to, of all foes, Chesterfield. He was brave, he was popular, but a lack of pace and youthful nativity exposed him at the centre of an Imps defence that was ransacked more regularly than Rome.
Hamza, played twelve inspiring games before going back to Forest but despite no first team opportunities he was not allowed back in the January, with the cash-strapped Imps unable to make a bid. We wound down the days until his contract expired at the end of the season, but again Jacko made no move and he elected to join Keith and Simmo at Macclesfield, during a summer of woe.
Despite breaking his leg in the first season at Macc, Hamza, part of the French Connection, was the midfield rock, scoring 16 in 60 appearances as the club battled back from the death of first Keith and then Butch. The all-but-butt-naked Silkmen flirted with the play-offs until the previous owners sold everything that was not nailed to the floor. Then of course post Xmas scurvy overcame the crew with more on the sick than Merseyside, to end the Simpson tenure. To top it Simmo was allowed to get a Scouser, of the Everton persuasion, in on loan and he returned home twenty minutes into a goal scoring debut – you’ve guessed it injured.
Like most things that have been and gone at Lincoln, they seem to end up at Notts County. Martin Allen (alerted by Schofield and perhaps Matt, son of KA) made Hamza an offer that Macclesfield could not match in June 2011 and he signed a two-year deal starting 17 times with 8 substitute appearances, scoring against Bournemouth and Rochdale. Some poetic justice there of sorts in a 1-0 win. He was popular with the fans, his endurance endears as much as his bravery in truth.
Incoming Keith Curle, who signed 12 players in the Summer of 2012, also rated him highly, although Hamza would be little more than a bench warmer this season. He would only play 11 times, all starts and thanks to injuries, in a promotion chase that fizzled, costing Curle his job in March. Chris Kimonya gave him 1 minute of action away at Doncaster before deciding to release him this summer although he can undoubedly do a job at League 1. Pace is his enemy at the back but in the middle he is a midfield matador, and irresistable precence and an immovable force.
As Hamza was in and out more frequently than wedding tackle, he knew the Meadow Lane gig was up last March within a fortnight of Curle moving on. Simmo was fighting fires at Lincoln, not to mention time with the loan window fast approaching. He twisted the boards arm for some money for loans and, with the Queen blinking on the Bank notes, he moved for an ambition trio. Nat Brown and Tony Diagne came, but alas Hamza, who shares the same agent as the other two, had to turn the deal down at the last minute. At the time an MLS club looked set to take him, but then the deal cooled, leaving him to sit out the final few week of the season at County due to the closure of the loan window.
|FULL NAME||Hamza Bencherif|
|DATE OF BIRTH||February 9, 1988 (age 25)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Paris,|
|HEIGHT/WEIGHT||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) / All musclet|
|SENIOR CAREER LGE & CUP|
|2007||Lincoln City (loan)||12||(1)|
Despite a leg injury that will see him miss the start of the season, Leeds United, Hull City, Crystal Palace Leicester City, Middlesbrough FC and Crystal Palace are in for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who is now a free agent after his release from Wolves. Norwich City free agent Vaughan is also up for grabs and Crystal Palace have bid £4 million for Blackpool FC winger Tom Ince. Hull are strengthening their muscles with former Imp Jack Hobbs set to move to Birmingham in exchange for Curtis Davies as well as a move for SEB and Pennant.
hold on to your hats the agents are greasing the grapevine, grenades and all, oh lordy lordy its Joyous June oh month of rumour……………
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s representative, is said to be already in discussions with Middlesbrough and Leicester, although Leeds are yet to formalise an approach given Noel Hunt is fit well, raring to go and already known by McDermott through the Reading connection. As for Ince junior, Blackpool will want substantially more for one of the games most exciting and emerging talents, although seasoned but evergreen Jermaine Pennant will cost substantially less. Hull City chase him and monitor the Ebanks-Blake situation with baited breath. Jermaine is a free agent although Stoke may come back with a one year deal for the well travelled winger who would make a terrific Thomas Cook rep. Settled Steve Bruce is looking to offer a much longer deal, now he has been given ambitious assurances that have killed any overtures for his services from Wigan. That said free agents, such as Jermaine and West Ham’s Gary O’Neill are still very much on the wish list of an under-rated clever manager who could peel an orange in his pocket and not offer nor waste a drop.
Pearson of Leicester City has also needed to be frugal at a club that now looks set to challenge. Gone are the forks in the Foxes sugar bowls with them being linked left right and centre. Looking to strengthen all over, experience and firepower are on the menu and an avenue for winger Lloyd Dyer to ensure he is not tempted by the bright lights of London club QPR. A move for Ebanks-Blake and the experienced Matthew Upson (loan Keane is now back at Man Utd remember) could help show some ambition, as could a season long loan for Villa midfielder Barry Bannan. Another forward in the form of a permanent deal for Canary striker James Vaughan is doing the rounds. The Foxes will face competition from Leeds United for SEB and Upson, whilst Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday are both interested in Vaughan. He banged in 14 goals whilst on loan at the Terriers last term and after survival they will be looking to more than make up the Championship numbers.
Louis Almond has a point to prove against the Imps after David Holdsworth froze him out during his loan spell at the Imps. Louis made his début for The Tangerines as a second year scholar at Crewe in the League Cup and has enjoyed loan spells at Cheltenham, Barrow (3), Lincoln and now Hyde FC.
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The talented left winger, just 21, certainly has a point to prove after scoring 1 and delivering 2 assists in successive games for the Imps. But after just 5 bit-part appearances he was recalled by Blackpool, moving back to Barrow on loan for the rest of the season. The Tangerines clearly rate the lad, offering Louis a new improved contract with an option for a further year.
This season has seen him farmed out to Barrow until January, making 14 appearances (2 goals). Louis then joined Hyde, for a half-season youth loan in January, as part of his continuing development. In 12 appearances he has scored four and been credited with 3 assists, although his all-round contribution has been electric, providing top quality service for Jevons (15 goals) and Blinkhorn.
The left flank could yet play a big part in our season with Danny Loyd also set to start for the Lambs against Woking. As for Louis, did he get the opportunity his promise deserved at the struggling Imps? He will certainly have the motivation and ability to be a danger on Saturday, against a City side notoriously short on pace. Over to you Dan Gray and Tom Miller (the away player of the season!)
Saturday 20th April K.O 17:15 pm
|Away Fans Pricing
||Adults £14||Cons £7
||U16 £4||Tinkers Passage End Terrace (Cap 1200)
Concessions apply to Over 65′s
Blackpool have recalled Louis Almond, who looked useful if given the chance. Although played out of position the supersub scored on his debut, magnificently steeling the show, not to mention salvaging a hard fought point against Braintree on a cold Tuesday night in February. His crisp, low 20 yard volley just inside the post tied the game at 3-3 as the wonderstrike got us out of jail with 90 minutes on the clock.
Louis followed that up with an assist for Jefferson Louis’ header in the 1-1 draw at Kidderminster but was withdrawn after 81 minutes despite having two shots saved in the 1-1 with Telford. Those were his only two starts as he got just 30 minutes against Mansfield where we started to look useful and got one back at the death and 37 minutes against Alfreton in a poor 0-1 defeat.
This is the third time that this has happened to Reg, with Blackburn and Leicester City electing to take youth loans back after seeing them rotting on the bench. Game time and the opportunity to earn some valuable experience has to be the major contributing factor to any clubs decision to loan players to sides lower down the pyramid. Though you may be able to get them cheaply or perhaps even for free, you have to reciprocate to some degree and keep your end of the bargain, or they will be reluctant to do so again.
Good luck Louis, you looked useful, despite being another extra in a huge cast, albeit played out of position on the wing in a struggling side, devoid of much invention.
It looks like classy Blackpool forward Louis Almond will get an extended run in the side, albeit on the left flank after Conal Platt broke his leg against Doncaster Rovers.
David Holdsworth had arranged a behind closed doors friendly to replace the cancelled Cambridge match in order to boost the match fitness levels of the side and increase familiarity for a relatively new team. Conal however came off worse in a 50/50 challenge that the medics believe could be a broken tibia and fibula which will rule him out for the season. To add insult to injury Rovers second string beat us 2-0.
Although our hearts go out to Conal this could well be a blessing in disguise ahead of the AFC Telford 6 pointer as Conal’s form has faded since he signed an 18 month deal in January. In the last two games he has been played out of position on the right and and even found himself benched in favour of Almond as the Imps went 4-3-3 against the Harriers last weekend.
Imps boss David Holdsworth said: “It is absolutely devastating for Conal who was traumatised by what happened. There was no malice in the tackle and it’s one of those things that can unfortunately happen. He’s a great lad and all of our thoughts are with him. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Almond meanwhile will be eager to add to his debut goal against Braintree as the Imps await the return of outcast striker Kyle Perry, desperate to prove us wrong. In fairness to DH Kyle has done little to do so so far, an assist on his debut against Kettering apart. You just get the feeling however, that he may get his first goal since his return to his old club against us at the Bank this Saturday. At least we will not have to contend with 6′ 7″ Ben Futcher. The ex Imp had been on loan at The Bucks but parent club Bury have now loaned him to Macclesfield Town until the end of the season.
Blackpool FC striker Louis Almond has certainly started in style. The supersub magnificently stole the show, not to mention salvaging a hard fought point against Braintree on Tuesday night. His crisp, low 20 yard volley just inside the post tied the game at 3-3. The wonderstrike got us out of jail with 90 minutes on the clock, earning what could be a vital point as the BSP relegation run in cranks up a gear.
Louis, 20 last month, is a name and talent to conjure with in this neck of the woods, with Louis Dodds, aka the Artful Dodger remembered as a scorer of great goals as opposed to a great goal scorer. It would be unfair to judge him just yet but the signs are certainly encouraging. After coming on in the 67th minute with us chasing the game on Tuesday, you cant argue with a striker who clearly relished the chance to prove himself. Louis took his only chance coolly and looks like he has the energy and belief to succeed at the highest level. Of course the Harriers will prove a sterner test but he is one to watch out for even if he does start out on the flank on Saturday.
The Tangerines striker was signed David Holdsworth on a youth loan until the end of the season on transfer deadline day. He knows the BSP well having played on loan at Barrow FC, both last season and this, returning to his parent club only last month. He is a very competitive and determined lad with an eye for goal when played centrally although he can also do a job on either flank. Last term Louis scored on his debut for Barrow and went on to net 4 in 4, but this season has seen just 1 goal in 25 appearances for Barrow once again. Said to be one for the future he has played just 20 minutes for Blackpool in the League Cup against Crewe (W2-1)
|FULL NAME||Louis James Almond|
|DATE OF BIRTH||5 January 1992 (age 20)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Blackburn,|
|HEIGHT||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|WEIGHT||12st 0lbs (76.27kg)|
|2010||Cheltenham Town (loan)||4||(0)|
|2011 & 2012||Barrow (2 X loan)||20||(6)|
|2012||Lincoln City (loan)||1||(1)|