Sheffield Wednesday have sent former Huddersfield Town and Lincoln City idol Gary Taylor-Fletcher back to Leicester City after an unsuccessful loan spell.
The 33 year-old played his final game for the Owls against Huddersfield, of all clubs, although he was substituted in favour of Atdhe Nuhiu during the second half. GT-F started two of his four games but failed to galvanise a Wednesday side that is having no luck in front of goal. A particularly poor (stonewall penalty) decision and the crossbar denied them in a 0-0 draw that is becoming symptomatic of a side that has the potential to be there or thereabouts despite the financial inequalities in ‘the Premier two’ in all but name.
GT-F would be just the job for Lincoln City during the autumn of a career that has seen him score in the top five divisions of English football. GT-F bagged 30 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions for Big Keith’s Imps and is another of ex-manager Simmo’s finds that have gone on to play in the top flight. With 19 goals in all competitions he finished his first season as the 2003/4 player of the year. Gary then broke a 106 year record scoring in our opening 6 games of the 04/05 season before Peter Jackson, lured him to Huddersfield Town, playing him largely as a winger (Abbot and Booth both took some dislodging in their prime) in a first season that yielded 15 goals and then 11 the season after.
Blackpool signed the mercurial front-man in their first Championship season with his début coming in a 1-0 win over his current club Leicester City. He capped his rise from non-league to the Premier League with a 30 million 39th minute strike in the 09/10 play-off final at Wembley to wipe out those sad memories for the Imps against Southend. Blackpool released him in the summer of 2013 with Leicester offering him a one year deal. Promotion as Champions saw GT-F get a years extention, although he failed to get a look in and then failed to shine at Sheffield Wednesday on loan.
He will be a free agent in the summer (34 in June) and would be a talismanic addition to any ambitious lower Football League or Conference side. Gary averages a goal every four games (101 in 398 League games plus 16 in 51 Cup appearances) not bad for someone who has spent most of his time cutting in. He would put 500-1000 on the gate at Lincoln – good business surely?
|Full name||Gary Taylor-Fletcher|
|Date of birth||4 June 1981|
|Place of birth||Widnes, England|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Club gig in the game|
|2001||Hull City (loan)||5||(0)|
|2001–2002||Grays Athletic (loan)||4||(3)|
|2002||Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)||3||(1)|
|2002–2003||Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)||5||(0)|
|2014||Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||4||(0)|
Former Leicester City, Burton Albion and Lincoln City striker Adi Yussuf is in the top 10 Conference North strikers as he continues to fight through the pain barrier. The talented lad, 21 last week, has been plagued by injury costing him a career at Leicester as well as Burton and Lincoln City. Adi (Oxford City) is just three off Omar Bogle (Solihull Moors) on 8 with Andy Cook (Barrow FC) and Richie Allen (AFC Fylde) in joint second with seven.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Having impressed at the Leicester City Youth Academy under the Direction of John Rudkin and ex-Imp Trevor Peake. As an aside Nicky Eaden now at today’s opponents Nuneaton was also at Leicester during Adi’s time as a coach, which may explain young Fox Adam Dawson’s arrival on loan. Adi was another for the future given a 3 year youth deal at just 16 by Leicester. He was a regular in the U18’s and reserves, going on loan to Tamworth at just 17 before Sven-Göran Eriksson wielded the axe.
His trademarks, explosive acceleration and power, see him get behind defences to lethal effect. Alas that has been his downfall as he has one leg slightly longer than the other leading to pain and regular strains, such as hamstring pulls which clearly hamper a large part of his natural game. At Lincoln it had been hoped that injections and a modification to his boots might help, but alas it did not. It was a shame as he looked brilliant in pre-season may well have to give up the game for good.
Conference North Goal Machines
Omar Bogle (Solihull Moors) 8
Richie Allen (AFC Fylde) 7
Andy Cook (Barrow) 7
Obi Anorou (Colwyn Bay) 6
Dayle Southwell (Boston United) 6
James Dean (Chorley) 6
Kristian Dennis (Stockport County) 6
Charlie Griffin (Gloucester) 6
Stefan Moore (Leamington) 6
Adam Boyes (Guiseley) 5
Adi Yussuf (Oxford City) 5
A legend at Leicester City, Chelsea, Burnley, Huddersfield, Wrexham and Lincoln, fans will always have a soft spot for Frank Sinclair – own goals and all. But having played at the highest level for the red, the blues and all, he is currently cutting his teeth as manager of Colwyn Bay and doing well if your ask the opinion of his chairman and left back Louis Moss
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
During his Leicester City and Chelsea days Frank played for Jamaica before making 92 league appearances for Burnley and then 42 for Huddersfield as a loan turned into a permanent deal. He was a suave defender although his own goals meant he got more in the wrong end than the seven he got throughout his glittering career. But his dedication and, sense of humour got the lad a long way from those harsh Lambeth roots (See full biopic at the bottom).
Frank was a dark horse for the Wrexham job last season having turned the tiny club from also-rans to a team just 3 points from the play-offs again this season, with a game in hand. Sinclair, the 42-year-old player gaffer, is building a useful young squad with a terrific shut-out to earn a point against the Division’s money club North Ferriby last Saturday. This followed hot on the heels of a 4-1 win against Gainsborough and a 3-0 away at Leamington. Case in point young Moss who is as good with the assists as he is getting back to help and a chip off the old block so to speak. The full-back is simply chuffed to have received an international call up for Barbados against Haiti in the Concacaf Gold Cup in October.
Despite the lad missing two games during his international jaunt Frank, a gentleman of the game, is chuffed
“He will be a big miss for us, but I am happy his early season form has been recognised and he has an opportunity maybe to play in the prestigious Gold Cup against the likes of Brazil and Mexico.
“I played in that for Jamaica so I know the standard of the tournament.”
Gary Simpson’s plans to get a striker in on loan seem to be facing the same obstacle as his plans to get Leicester City hot-shot Adi Yussuf some valuable match time, with both the FA Cup and FA trophy playing a massive part in proceedings.
Simmo has been sniffing around Leicester City, Derby Co, Bury (he already has Marlon Jackson) the South Yorkshire clubs plus some North-West big names in search of a big target man and a wide midfielder as he waits for Yussuf, Fairhurst and Wright to rediscover their undoubted talents. But timing looks to be against him in the immediate term. Loan clubs from higher Divisions in the Football League do not come into the Competition until November and December and there is also the small matter of the FA trophy that has ruled out a loan move for Yussuf in the other direction. Yussuf’s name has been mentioned on the Gainsborough grapevine but the manager has already stated that he will want him to play at least four games as well as continuing to train with the Imps on a daily basis.
With specific regard to inbound players, the loan budget has very little in it, although the prize money from the previous round of the Cup has given the manager enough for additional reinforcements. However with loans normally running for a month or two the club can ill-afford to be paying a contribution to a Football League players wages with two Trophy and Two FA Cup weekends, possibly dropping to one apiece should Lincoln be eliminated.
The postponement of the Gateshead game, thanks to their cup progression, was a case in point, although the Imps won their replay over Worcester and now entertain Plymouth, who will further add to the loan budget win lose or draw. Therefore far from being ‘caught in the headlights’ as many people are suggesting, the manager appears, perhaps he is keeping his powder dry in order to best use and indeed maximise the funds at his disposal? Simmo has good contacts in South Yorkshire and the North-West and will doubtless make a move next month when the pitches have changed and players are available ahead of the winter transfer window. Clubs tend to offer some amazing loan opportunities in December, at very reasonable wage contributions, if they can get them off the payroll for good in the January.
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 Millwall FC, Leicester City, Rangers FC and Lincoln City Winger Dany N’Guessan bagged his 5th League goal in 7 games for Swindon Town as the Robins stormed to 6th in the table. STMI suggested he could fly at the Robins under shrewd dude Cooper and so far La Fusee Rouge is blazing a trail across the sky.
Danny has put Leicester City and Millwall rejection behind him to prove that even if the Championship might be a step too far he certainly has what it takes to star at league 1 level. His 28th minute penalty secured a 2-0 result against Notts County, the third league win on the bounce. Danny scored in the previous 4-0 thumping of Rotherham and got the only goal against Tranmere. He also scored in the 1-2 defeat at Preston, so La Fusee Rouge (the red Flare) is on a hot-streak with 4 in 4 games.
Swindon’s Mark Cooper is certainly getting the best out of an immensely talented winger, who even as a 21 year old Imp, was unplayable on his day. Danny got 17 goals in 75 starts for the Imps and gave us some terrific memories as he made the 2008-9 League 2 team of the year. That is the way with wingers turned centre-forwards, luxury players who will win you games, but when a side fails to find them they effectively take you down to ten men. His early season criticism of Millwall’s long ball football during a winless start now looks a thing of the past with Dany perhaps finally set to will deliver and prove the potential Glasgow Rangers saw in him all those years ago.
For those who missed our N’Guessan’s No Fox Or Lion – Can He Fly As A Robin? and bio back on September 5th click HERE
Gillingham FC’s knee-jerk sacking of ex Leicester City, Brentford FC & Notts County manager Martin Allen leaves ex-Imp John Schofield in limbo with Peter Taylor 1-4 favourite to sweep anew in the next few days. Allen had steered the Gills to promotion in his first season in charge but 2 wins in the opening 11 saw his 16 month tenure end yesterday.
thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
Once again Allen has been hard done by, just as he was at Leicester City (fall-out with the chairman over signing policy) and Cheltenham (unfounded racism accusations that led to gardening leave), with fans shocked at his sudden departure. His stats have been somewhat consistently impressive throughout his managerial career (see below) with the last stint yielding a 42% win rate with 27 wins, 17 draws and just 20 defeats. He and first team coach John Schofield inspired the Gills best ever start to a season, most away wins ever (11) and the championship at a club that was not financially blessed after almost a decade of hardship. To sack the League 2 manager of the year after just 16 months in the job does seem harsh.
John Schofield has been Martin Allen’s number two at Cheltenham, Notts County and Gillingham, linking up with him after the love affair with Lincoln turned sour. John had been responsible for the Imps youth section with many notable successes before being given the top job after Keith Alexander had gone to Peterborough. His brand of attacking football won many plaudits with Stallard and Forester enjoying a 37 goal partnership, but the defensive weaknesses ultimately did for him and John Deehan who had joined him to add experience.
When the duo found themselves out of a job, Schoey was distraught to say the least. He had hoped to stay at the Imps, with a return to the Youth set up that he had worked wonders at. Lincoln was in Schoey’s blood after two stints, 250 appearances and the steady progression up the City youth coaching ladder as he gained the top UEFA ‘A’ licence. John is a superb coach, a poet for princely passing football, but one very much down to earth with mud in his studs.
Scunthorpe gave him a way back into the game after a four month period of disillusionment, before Walsall manager Jimmy Mullen stepped in. After Jimmy was sacked he took charge for one game before being moved on after Chris Hutchins got the job and brought in his own man. Schoey then joined Martin Ling at Cambridge before teaming up with Allen at the Magpies. It will be interesting to see whether he puts in for the job or is kept on as part of Peter Taylor’s new set-up, as it would be such a shame to see one of the games great unsung coaches out of work again. Then again Martin Allen will soon be back in work.
Martin Allen & Schofield Records
|Barnet||March 2003||March 2004||47||20||17||10||42.55|
|Brentford||18 March 2004||31 May 2006||124||54||36||34||43.55|
|Milton Keynes Dons||21 June 2006||25 May 2007||55||28||11||16||50.91|
|Leicester City||25 May 2007||29 August 2007||4||2||1||1||50.00|
|Cheltenham Town||15 September 2008||11 December 2009||60||13||19||28||21.67|
|Barnet||23 March 2011||11 April 2011||3||2||1||0||66.67|
|Notts County||11 April 2011||18 February 2012||43||16||10||17||37.21|
|Barnet||16 April 2012||11 June 2012||3||2||0||1||66.67|
|Gillingham||5 July 2012||13 October 2013||64||27||17||20||42.19|
|Lincoln City||24 May 2006||15 October 2007||64||23||14||27||36.0|
|Walsall (caretaker)||10 January 2009||20 January 2009||1||0||0||1||0.0|
|Cheltenham Town (caretaker)||20 October 2009||22 December 2009||9||1||3||5||11.1|
We may not be east Midlands giants Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Derby County or the 2 Manchester Clubs but The Lincoln City family still spans the globe according to the latest mind numbing research of The Prof. That said the Nottingham, Leicester, Luton and Sheffield based readership does make up the top 6 UK locations along with Lincoln and Manchester, although STMI have featured stories involving their clubs and players as well as the Skrill Premier zone stuff so their vast respective supports will distort the figures nationally. Numerous Forest & Foxes fans surprisingly see Lincoln as their second team?
Thanks for reading the prof
Tasked with sorting the wheat from the chaff to ascertain where the Lincoln City readership inhabit I have come up with the following table. This relates to Lincoln stories (since February) although the regular readers from elsewhere in the Skrill Premiership may still distort things a little. It shows the international (potential) reach of the club, even though many will never get to games for one reason or another. To drill down into the UK any further would infect the data with non Imps stories.
|United Arab Emirates||394|
|Isle of Man||175|
|Republic of Korea||100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||38|
|Falkland Islands (Malvinas)||35|
|Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic||24|
|Trinidad and Tobago||23|
|Antigua and Barbuda||22|
|United Republic of Tanzania||22|
|Papua New Guinea||11|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||5|
|Lao People’s Democratic Republic||3|
|British Virgin Islands||3|
|Palestinian Territory, Occupied||2|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||2|
|Syrian Arab Republic||1|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1|
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|
Rangers FC, Leicester City and Millwall FC all failed but can Swindon Town get the best out of the immensely talented former Imp Dany N’Guessan christened La fusée rouge – The Red Flare – at Lincoln. Alas, thus far the potential has remained unfulfilled even if the career has certainly been paved with gold. So can Mark Cooper be the catalyst before a truly brilliant talent goes to waste?
Danny is one of those players who is unplayable on his day, but when his head is down he will disappear back into his shell. Rangers had signed him from Auxerre, then sent him on loan to Boston, where he joined Lincoln on a free going on to score 17 goals in 75 starts and 22 substitute appearances. When we were good Danny was brilliant, when we struggled he was never going to get us out of a hole. That said he was still in the League 2 team of the year during his final season with us and put in a decent display against Leicester in a friendly to get us a hefty fee. Well that and some terrific YouTube footage put up by his agent, keen to tout him around.
That is the way with wingers, luxury players who will win you games, but when a side fails to find them they effectively take you down to ten men. His criticism of Millwall’s long ball football during a winless start to the season, that sees the Lions sitting 23rd, is no surprise – a far cry from the “The manager has shown faith in me and I think I can do well here. I hope to do that and help Millwall up the table” when he signed a three year deal. He must have felt elated after a 6 month loan deal at the Lions had rescued him from Leicester who knew they had taken a bath. The Foxes ‘enjoyed’ 6 goals in 39 appearances, but despite three loan deals to Scunthorpe, Southampton and Millwall, he did little to live up to the hype or fee.
The thing with Dany is that he starts well. He did at Lincoln, Leicester and Millwall (36 aps 4 goals) with their final throw of the dice loan at Charlton even continuing the trend as he bagged 4 goals in 7 games. Dany scored on his Leicester and Millwall débuts which also bodes well for the Robins. Swindon fans have got a terrific player who will help their play-off aspirations if the wind is with them. But with the Robins currently 10th he could yet end up being a help or a hindrance unless unless Mark Cooper can get the best out of him. Mark is the son of Terry the former Leeds legend, Danny by comparison is the mirror of current one Jermaine Johnson aka JJ, on his day. Pace, power and a shot like a cannon that can turn a game in seconds and have the ground on its feet are the positives, a sullen shadow on the flank the negative.
There are no superlatives to describe La fusée rouge in full stride, but, whether Mark Cooper, a terrific coach and successful manager at Kettering and Darlington, has that in him, when so many others have failed, is anyone’s guess? At 26 Dany is entering his peak, therefore the other big question is: will he finally grasp yet another guilt edged opportunity or will inconsistency be his enemy once again?