Former Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers and Celtic FC star Chris Sutton and Ipswich Town, Rangers FC & England demi-god Terry Butcher met up with grass roots talent guru Greg Dyke last week as The FA Chairman continues to show his commitment to the future development of English talent with a tour of Lowestoft in Suffolk. Here and throughout the local FA family a series of football facility improvements have given a major boost to grassroots football in the area. It’s great to see that Chris Sutton appears to be showing his coaching ability after a managerial experience at Lincoln almost saw him lost to the game.
Co-funded by the The FA, Premier League and the Government, through umbrella organisation Sport England, The Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund is actually delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. If you are up with that let us move onto some very impressive numbers. Since the 2000 launch 13,000 grants worth more than half a billion pounds have gone to improving grass roots sport. This has led to additional partnership funding of more £700m equating to £1.2bn plus of inward investment into grass roots.
After the ribbon cutting exercise at the state-of-the-art new pavilion Mr Dyke also toured two other locations that have received just over £1 million between them from the fund. The facilities showcased in Lowestoft are mirrored nationally through the FA’s partnerships with the Football Foundation and County Football Associations who do a fabulous but often forgotten job. Mr Dyke also took in an FA Skills coaching session at the refurbished Dip Farm Playing Fields. The FA Skills programme has a spine of 158 qualified coaches and has already offered 6 million places to 5-11 year olds across the country. It puts particular emphasis on fun and technique hoping to aid the development of transferable life-skills such as team building and social skills to breed confidence.
Mr Dyke said:
“I’m delighted that The FA has been able to play its part in making these tremendous new facilities at Dip Farm a reality and I commend all the partners that have come together to make this happen. Through the Football Foundation, The FA has helped to develop 1,700 sites like this across the country demonstrating our commitment to securing the foundations of grassroots football.
“And it is great to see an FA Skills session taking place because encouraging participation from an early age and providing adequate facilities, as demonstrated here at Dip Farm, are the heartbeat of the National Game.”
Terry Butcher and Chris Sutton, two former players with strong connections to Lowestoft – albeit with allegiances from opposites sides of the East Anglian footballing divide – were also on hand to take the tour and were impressed by the facilities
Former England captain Terry Butcher said:
“Lowestoft is smack bang in the middle of a very fierce footballing rivalry with Norwich one way and Ipswich the other – but it is also a strong footballing town in its own right.
“I was raised in Lowestoft and remember kicking a ball around as a youngster and this tour brings back lots of great memories from the place where I got my first real taste of football. It’s wonderful to see the work that The FA is doing to boost football in the area through the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.”
Chris Sutton had this to say:
“Good coaching from an early age is key, not only to raising the standards of football played at the higher levels, but also for building enthusiasm and love of the game at grassroots. What is great about the work in Lowestoft is that we are witnessing how better coaching, participation and facilities, feed into one and other and strengthen the National Game as a whole.”
WBA stalwart and former Leicester City and Ipswich Town captain and centre-half Gareth McAuley is enjoying a wonderful Indian summer. One of Lincoln manager Gary Simpson’s early spots, The Imps are incredibly the only club to pay money for a player who has been priceless for The Baggies, The Foxes, The Tractor Boys and his country. Gareth has played 46 times for Northern Ireland. What is more intriguing and, perhaps even a return to his roots, is that at 33 he is rediscovering the goal touch, Gareth has 3 in 3, that he learned when he was converted from a defender to a striker all those years ago.
Gareth McAuley was loved and admired at Lincoln. Originally spotted By Simmo and Oaksey during a Northern Ireland scouting mission the previous season, Keith Alexander signed him in the summer of 2004/5. Gareth had been playing for Coleraine in Londonderry and was part of the Northern Ireland route that would serve Keith and Simmo over the years.
Gareth almost went to Stockport, then under the stewardship of former Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy, who had capped him at B level. But with the lad on trial at Edgeley Park and on the verge of signing Big Keith nipped in with a two-year deal and offered Coleraine £10k up front plus a slice of any sell-on fee. Gareth played as one of Keith’s odd defender cum target-man strikers, then a centre-back and a wing back as Dean West and Bloomer tired. His two-goals, one in each leg of the 2-1 aggregate win over Macclesfield in the 2005 play-off semi-final were vital.
Gareth gave Lincoln the lead to edge a frenetic home first leg 11 minutes in. Sandwith floated a free-kick, Gareth flew and, almost in a slow motion ‘matrix’ moment, the header crept into the bottom corner. In the return his towering header from a Taylor-Fletcher centre crossed the line despite the valiant efforts of the Macc defence. Gareth did not sign a deal the following season, one that also saw Keith Alexander move to Peterborough, allowing Leicester to get him on a free.
His class deserved higher, we knew that, with Leicester offering him the Captaincy during his second season at the club. Ipswich did make two bids during the 2008 January window but the Foxes offered managed to hang on to him for a few months with an improved new 3 year deal. The Foxes were then relegated allowing Ipswich to get him on a free and he would go on to be a terrific and inspirational captain before moving to WBA when his contract was allowed to run down as a 31-year-old in 2011.
West Brom took a bit of a punt with a three year deal in May 2011 but, a three month injury in that first season apart, he went on to complete 44 games last season. Gareth was voted Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year last term but this season promises to be even better. He has started every Premiership game, scored in both Northern Ireland’s World Cup defeats last week and now earned a point against Fulham.
thanks for the pic WIKI
|The tale of the tape|
|Full name||Gareth Gerald McAuley
|Date of birth||5 December 1979 (age 33)|
|Place of birth||Larne, Northern Ireland|
|Height/weight||6 ft 3 in / 11 st|
|Playing position||Centre-half left/right back or striker|
|Current gig in the game|
|Current club||West Bromwich Albion|
|1999–2000||Ballyclare Comrades (loan)||7||(0)|
|2011–||West Bromwich Albion||78||(6)|
|2003||Northern Ireland B||1||(0)|
|stats inc League & cup competitions|
Wolverhampton Wanderers star Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is being targeted by Crystal Palace, Leeds United , Reading FC and Ipswich Town, making for an interesting first day for Kenny Jackett. Jackett’s pocket is rarely picked but Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is a talented but expensive free agent on June 30th so he will be unlikely to stay. With Adam Le Fondre, aka ALF, already the centre of much attention and therefore costing money The Royals and Leeds could be competing on the same side of the negotiating table over SEB.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Our dark horse for the job almost a month back Kenny Jackett is definitely the man for the revival, as his time at Millwall proved. Wolves have suffered the post Premiership free-fall that can set a club into terminal decline, but the owners have an ambitious, yet humble and modest, manager who just needed the platform and cash a club of this stature can provide. He can rebuild wisely and emulate Norwich’s back-to-back promotion feat. A shrewd move for play-maker Richie Wellens, coming to the end of his Leicester career, could get the new midfield clicking.
Jackett will need the owners to come good, given he will need to shift some of the dead wood and that will certainly cost some money on its own. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake comes into that category, at 27, any move for him is good news even though he is a free agent His 4 and a half year contract, signed in 2008, has become a burden that Jackett will certainly be able to utilise elsewhere. Indeed on previous experience he could probably get half a team.
The overtures of Palace, Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Reading FC and Ipswich Town will hardly be seen as vultures to the incoming manager, who will want horses for courses in League 1, a place where many a thoroughbred has been cut down to size. Mick McCarthy, meanwhile, is now at Ipswich and has to be a favourite. He was the former manager, who gave Sylvan his current deal, plucked him from Plymouth obscurity (plus £1.5m) and made him the goal machine he can be at Championship level. Mr McCarthy will also be able to impress that Palace and the requirements of the Premiership may not be the path he should tread. The striker got just one goal in the Premiership under him, but plundered 25 in the Championship the season before and 23 in 2007/8 split between Plymouth and Wolves.
|Full name||Sylvan Augustus Ebanks-Blake
|Date of birth||29 March 1986 (age 27)
|Place of birth||Cambridge,|
|Height/Weight||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 13st 2lb (83.45kg)|
|Contracted Until June 30 2013|
|Current club||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|2005–2006||Royal Antwerp (loan)||9||(4)|
Gary Simpson? Who you ask? But his talent stretches to Blackpool (Taylor Fletcher), Ipswich Town (Hewitt) Peterborough (McLean, Mackail-Smith) and Brighton. Indeed it spans the top five Leagues. Peterborough United and Macclesfield are still reaping the rewards of Gary Simpson’s eye for talent spotting, but it is his not so Posh return to grass roots with Parkgate that illustrates his ability to do it again and again.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
The quiet man in the partnership with Keith Alexander, Gary’s love of the game, judgement and ability to work with what he has got, is as touching as his deep and genuine love for the way the game should truly be played, coached and managed. You need fresh mud in your studs and a desire to do the miles, give the smiles and to convert young lads by teaching and gently preaching. Not only can Simmo turn water into rapidly maturing wine, but Sheffield’s softly spoken son has what is really needed in the current harsh environment – he can turn a quid into seven, which with add-ons can even exceed a bakers dozen. At Parkgate he has a few more in the oven.
Gary learned to take rejection at Stoke before going on to be a legend at Boston as a player. He finished at Gainsborough and was eager to take his coaching badges. Initially the managership mantel was thrust upon him at Gainsborough Trinity whilst still a player, then Lincoln and Macclesfield Town. Simmo was caretaker at the Imps and Silkmen, before getting the job full-time at Macc, filling the blues shoes vacated by legend, mate and mentor Keith. Gary’s eleven match spell at the Imps saw five wins, four draws and two defeats. His 45% success rate, is something they would dearly love now, not to mention the talent spotting that turns pennies into pounds and truly astounds.
Peterborough have made millions from selling players he spotted and coached, as well as no doubt benefiting from two more of his Macc prodigal sons this season, having signed Sinclair and Brisley. Macc also received fees for Hewitt (Ipswich), Donnelly (Rochdale), Daniel and Tomlinson, that paved the way for new silkmen supremo and successor King’s spending splurge.
Much was made of Gary’s sacking from Macc. Having been forced to sell seven in the window, he then had 12 injured from January onwards. A win at local rivals and comparable giants,Port Vale, heralding play-off aspirations, would turn to dust thanks to a 16 match winless run. Mike Rance and Andy Scott were ‘truly gutted’ to see him go, although the politics at Macc, especially after the latter top two’s departure, is set to run a while yet.
But to the sunny climbs of Parkgate, the Steelmen of Rotherham. With a stand of 300 and a capacity of 1,000, they are a side on the rise, despite crowds of just a hundred or so. The facilities are good with Rotherham United electing to train there in exchange for some vital cash. The Steelmen play at level 9 of the football pyramid in the Baris North Counties East Football League Premier Division along with Lincoln Moorlands Railway, Worksop and Scarborough. Simmo’s lad’s can go top tonight if they beat 17th placed Pickering. Then there is a home clash against the League’s big spenders Staveley Miners Welfare at the weekend.
Gary has always been keen to train sides, to put something back at youth and amateur level. he is certainly not doing this for the money. Having no goalkeeper available, cost them progression in the FA Cup (bless’em) and their only defeat of the season. A win in the FA Vase at Worsbrough Bridge Athletic has brought in the petrol money for a few more away trips yet. Just 75 witnessed it, as Nathan Forbes-Swindells settled things in the fifth minute. That could be a costly shirt one day, although if the strikers had finished it could easily have been ten. Make that eleven with one brave defender left to ‘count them’. The talent spotting never fails with one tender 18 year-old in particular set for a very bright future indeed. Gary has also charmed in some real quality to form the U-19’s who will provide the future conveyor belt that has always been so central to his coaching concept and character. With Tommy Docherty turning up for Dinner on 4th October to swell the campaign war chest, it is surely worth the entry for some minted wisdom, rumour and humour.
Just as David Holdsworth was coming to terms with Loach’s Ipswich Town move, so young prospect Sam Smith’s transfer to Cambridge United – ‘for ‘non football reasons’ – looks like another give-away. It is just as well that the transfer of Bristol Rovers Mustapha Carayol to Middlesbrough appears to have saved our Lincolnshire bacon after a pre-season shambles continues to rock our once proud club. Yes Impdom has well and truly come to terms with our BSP status with decisions off the field dictating the most important bit – the football on it. It is this short term, small time thinking that sees us where we are and what we are.
Watford had few bargaining tools given Zola did not see Loach as part of his plans and, with just a year left on his deal, Ipswich were therefore very much in the driving seat. Even so a £150k-200k deal, albeit with a few add-ons, must have gutted the manager as much as the financial backdrop that has overshadowed pre-season. Then add to this two further blows, namely, three undisclosed bids (they have to be for legal and contractual reasons, thus leaving the media just enough room to speculate) from Cambridge that will see a player he rates move for between £15k and 25k; as well as assistant Westwood disappearing to Portsmouth. Gowling has also been put on the transfer list, although as to whether that was cause or effect, given Miller has returned, is anyone’s guess. Let us hope a pay-up scenario is not required to help him move on.
Holdsworth had told BBC Lincolnshire that a Sam Smith move would not be for football reasons. Indeed the club’s valuation of the player ranged from £25,000 to a somewhat bullish £50,000. Given Cambridge United’s size and financial position, last season at least, we felt somewhat confident that he would stay. But manager Jez George is mindful that it is Centenary year at United, pushing the boat out by paying fees for 4-5 players including Smith. Two new directors, Eddie Clark and Robert Smith, may have something to do with an increase in budget, at a club that at least puts the first team budget first and where it should be from a fans perspective. By comparison the money, from both Smith and the Carayol sell on, will apparently go to plug that ever nearing black hole at the Imps. Forget going for a return of the faithful, to wash our financial woes away then? But then the club perpetuates a culture of setting the bar far too low.
We know, despite what many Imps see as guilt trips to get more money from us, that the Imps are on their uppers, after Bob saved the club. But in so doing he and selected friends put the golden keys to our one and only and, undoubtedly most prized asset – worth millions during the future redevelopment of the Sincil street to Sincil bank area – under the control of a holding company for perhaps as little as £300,000 of new money and arguably up to £500,000 all told. Yet our Trust ghosted away over a million shares (worth £500,000) for free and without a vote knowing that the club still faced a short-fall of £150k half-way through this season. But wait a further own-goal as the memorandums and articles of the new company stated that shares are valued at 10p each and, the double whammy that they must be sold to the other parties in Lincoln City Holdings first. Desperate times call for desperate measures one feels, but surely the business logic of this is more short term than a Bank computer doing High Frequency Trading, on autopilot. They have kicked a can down the road only for it to land on a magnet along with every other molten meteorite in our financial path.
Surely, even 15k-20K for Smith is useful, given the club has had to ask its friends at the Trust to pitch in again to give a little more credibility to the stadium renaming raffle. Welcome to the smoke and mirrors approach to PR and fundraising announcements at Lincoln City folks. The Trust normally puts funds the clubs way this time of year, thanks largely to membership renewals. Thus the £1500 they handed over when the venture looked to be netting under twenty thousand with just a few days to go, has been used as window dressing when the club would be getting it anyway. You find a lot of this sort of thing happens at Lincoln, small time thinking generates small time results.
Indeed Lincoln City Banter, which tries to keep club fan politics – a particularly distasteful carbuncle on the backside of our community club and is why this site limits it to the financial section – to a minimum, has led the way raising £1800 for shirts this season. Although the 12th Imp (a newer organisation that appears to have discarded the 12th man -this was actually the one formed in 2009 that had been doing the share save scheme) takes the credit for raising £1500 for the renaming raffle, the posters of Vital Lincoln are in fact the ones who provided the bulk of the funds for the tickets. Both therefore deserve credit and STMI wish them good luck in the future. Yet the moral to this story you feel is that the Trust should be leading and co-ordinating fans initiatives such as the new Player Saving Scheme if it is to get the widespread support and credibility it deserves. This too was devised on Lincoln City Banter but it is the fledgeling 12th Imp who will now administer the scheme after the Trust curiously turned down the opportunity to run it.
But back to Holdsworth, because the football comes first at our club – Lincoln City Holdings please take note – as the reading stats prove on this site time and again. The clouds do have a silver lining, even if the Mustapha Carayol funds may not go to the first team, as appears the Cambridge way (incidentally they have just 3 part-time office staff at their club, suggesting they have a good cost base even if they may be throwing caution to the wind). Holdsworth’s perceived return to a revolving door policy of late does appear to be worrying, yet it is because it is a needs must situation and, the goal posts are continually changing. The budget that many of us felt to be £400,000 ( DH confirmed this on the BSP site) including the renaming raffle, is around 50% higher than that figure, although that does also include the manager and the physiotherapist. Smith can and will be replaced with a better player. He could already be here in the shape of Vadaine Oliver, although the entrepreneurial Holdsworth has a few irons in fires and we should see 2 more in next week. Remember he already has a decent forward line in Rob Duffy, Jamie Taylor, Bradley Baraclough and the exciting new kid on the block Connor Robinson .
The Imps will receive just £20,000 as part of the deal that sees Scott Loach move from Watford to Ipswich Town. But then our manager will be grateful for a 5% increase in his budget unless the renaming raffle undershoots.
The Watford Observer has confirmed the STMI story yesterday that Loach would scandalously leave the Hornets for under £200,000. This is of no surprise given the player in the last year of his current deal – see the article in full here.
It is also a lot less than this, now pulled article from the Lincolnshire Echo – Lincoln City set for £150,000 windfall if… Lincolnshire Echo 07:11
The big money this summer is to be made from the Middlesbrough deal with Bristol Rovers for Mister Carayol. Imps fans seem to realise this too with yesterdays leading article breaking STMI’s all-time reads record. If only we could get a quarter of that amount to Sincil Bank every other Saturday.
Blackburn Rovers, soon to lose Paul Robinson to Fulham or Besiktas, are set to test Ipswich Town’s resolve as the bidding hots up in the race for Watford Keeper Scott Loach. This is fantastic news for hard up Lincoln City who have a sell on for their former youth keeper.
Recently relegated Rovers are looking to cut the wage bill and are subject to interest from Betsiktas and Fulham for Paul Robinson , however the additional cashflow lifeline of £48 million in parachute payments over the coming 4 seasons, suggest that Ipswich may not be able to compete if there is a bidding war.
Loach is an Ipswich fan, but Rovers signing on fee and albeit reduced wage structure could still be too much to stomach. Paul Jewel recently lost out to Bolton for Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan, as the Trotters rubberstamped £200,000 deal that Ipswich were unable to match.
The Imps make 15% on any profit from a sell on. We have already received around £60,000, with a £40k up-front fee and appearance add-ons, so we really need the deal to head north to around £500,000 or more.
Ipswich Town’s bid for Watford Keeper Scott Loach looks a goer after Gianfranco Zola admitted the deal was a “possibility”and that he was looking for replacements with 38 year-old Tottenham keeper Carlo Cudicini and free agent and ex-Arsenal Keeper Manuel Almunia, high on the wish list. The deal is unlikely to be the huge seven figure deal we Imps were hoping for, but it will still help Holdsworth’s Budget none the less. (see also our June 1st story HERE)
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
With Paul Jewell losing faith in Lee-Barrett, Ipswich have been on the keeper trail for most of the summer. They even looked set to travel to Holland on tour without a recognised keeper. Town looked to have pipped Watford and Bristol City for the services of ex- cardiff City keeper Tom Heaton, but this like the interest in loach appeared to be just rumour. They also had Hearts keeper Mario Kello on trial recently who had interested Villa prior to Guzan signing a new deal.
Although the bid for Loach finally came yesterday, it is unlikely to be a big one with Jewell on record as saying he does not have a lot of money to spend. The Blues were also recently outbid for Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan, as Bolton swooped in a £200,000 deal that Ipswich were unable to match. Jewell had then suggested a season-long loan might be the answer.
Therefore the dream move for Town fan Loach is unlikely to net the Imps more than about £20-25K given we only make 15% on any profit from a sell on. We have also received around £60,000 already in the up-front fee and add-ons.
This is Watford’s last chance to cash in on Scott Loach, now second in the pecking order of the once green and gloved department. The star has a year left on his current deal, suggesting both sides will be best served in doing a deal now, yet other suitors may also help to up the anti. The Watford and Ipswich forums are awash with the news following the news today. Loach is a quality young and consummate keeper despite the odd issue, alas in front of the cameras for the U21′s.
Scott Loach finally looks set to join Ipswich Town 6 months later than all of Impdom had hoped for. Spurs and Arsenal had both been interested, yet baulked at a £3.5-£5m swoop last summer – as did the Tractor Boys in January. Manager Paul Jewell however is still looking for a keeper and having also had designs on the lad in the winter window, now looks set to pounce.
This is Watford’s last chance to cash in on Scott Loach, now second in the pecking order of the once green and gloved department. The star has a year left on his current deal, suggesting both sides will be best served in doing a deal now, yet other suitors may also help to up the anti.
The Watford and Ipswich forums are awash with the news following the leak on Sky Sports News today. Loach is a quality young and consumate keeper despite the odd issue, alas in front of the cameras for the U21’s.
Should he and Carayol both move David Holdsworth looks set for a transfer bonanza. The Undisclosed deal that saw Loach leave the Imps for Watford included a £40k lump after 30 appearances and then between 20 and 25 percent of the profit on any transfer paid to Watford. Carayol meanwhile could also net us a hefty penny with a 20% cut of any deal on a similar basis. Bristol Rovers will need to increase their offer for Constable so a bid from Derby County, Middlesbrough or Sheffield Wednesday would come in just nice for all parties concerned.
Holdsworth’s current budget currently stands at £400,000 plus the proceeds from the renaming raffle so he could realistically double that with the cut on these two deals. In fact I can think of a couple of Cab drivers who would gladly drive these two lads there if it helps? So its all up to the Cathedral on Sunday for some serious prayer.
Ipswich Town will sign Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach for £1 million in January, netting the Imps 15% of the sell on fee. The tractor boys will also take Hugo Rodallega on loan from Wigan and make bids for Ben Haim from Portsmouth and Andy King from Leicester. On the downside Bullard is off to Leeds United or QPR and Cresswell off to chew toffees at Everton
This paves the way for a busy January window for David Holdsworth, eager to boost a side held together by hope, youth and string, going into its second Lincolnshire derby in a week. David Holdsworth will add as many as 3-4 new faces to the side if everything works out. Leeds have offered us Will Hatfield and Sanchez on a youth loan (see Tuesday’s story here) and Leicester City have agreed to Leicester City no3 keeper Adam Smith also joining on loan.
As for the other 1 or 2, that will depend on events unfolding with two other highly paid professionals on the verge of a move and a potential pay-off respectively. Two have already left and together with the Loach cut three favourites can now be retained. Thompson and Sheridan will now be offered deals until the end of the season at least and Conal the Conjurer is set for a longer term deal.