Blog Archives

Chris Sutton & Terry Butcher Helping Greg Dyke’s Grass Roots Revolution in Lowestoft?

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.”

 

Football Bingo - Download the app

 

Advertisements

Is Swindon’s N’Guessan Proving Leicester & Millwall Wrong?

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.

 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.pngThe Rangers Football Club LogoLeicester City logoBlue rampant lion above the word Millwall in blue letters.Swindon Town crest

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

Dany N'Guessan.png
STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Djombo Dany-Gael N’Guessan
DATE OF BIRTH 11 August 1987 (age 26)
PLACE OF BIRTH Ivry-sur-Seine, France
HEIGHT 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
PLAYING POSITION Winger, Forward
CURRENT GIG-IN-THE-GAME
CURRENT CLUB Swindon Town
YOUTH CAREER
-2003 Auxerre
SENIOR STATS
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 Auxerre 0 (0)
2005–2007 Rangers 0 (0)
2006–2007 Boston United (loan) 25 (5)
2007–2009 Lincoln City 97 (17)
2009–2011 Leicester City 39 (6)
2010 Scunthorpe United (loan) 3 (1)
2011 Southampton (loan) 6 (0)
2011 Millwall (loan) 2 (1)
2011–2013 Millwall 36 (4)
2012 Charlton Athletic (loan) 7 (4)
2013– Swindon Town 9 (5)

Miller Set For Blackburn Rovers Strikers Challenge

Southport FC’s new addition from Blackburn Rovers, striker Osayamen Osawe, will pose another test for Tom Miller tonight.  Miller too has Rangers FC, Norwich City and Newport County credentials on his CV but the 20-year old wonder-kid has already impressed at Southport and is blessed with electric pace and an eye for an early but lethal strike with either foot.  Then again Miller has recovered from the cruciate injury that wrecked his Rangers dream.

 

 Lincoln City F.C. badge.png V  SouthportFC.png 

Tuesday 17th September KO 19.45

Osawe rose through the youth ranks at Blackburn  and had been loaned to Hyde and Accrington before making the switch to Southport on August 8th this year. He was 20 last Friday the 13th but his shot accurasy suggests he is anthing but lucky or a flash in the pan. So far he has scored two, got 7 more on target with just two misses.  Tom needs to get in early because it will be an interesting duel down their left and our right, tonight, with Osawe scoring the winner against Aldershot, then getting one against Tamworth coming from the left. he also had a stormer in the 2-2 draw with Welling.

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
2 Miller 4 0 360 0 0 0 0 4 6 1 0
3 Osawe 5 2 460 2 9 2 3 5 4 1 0

But Miller is not one for names and reputations.  In his post match interview on Saturday he, like the rest of the Imps squad feels Lincoln should fear no one, as long as we keep it tight. The counter-attacking style might frustrate some but 574 happy punters, who made the long trip to North London, appreciate that patience is a virtue.

He may have a point. Nuneaton beat The Sandgrounders with two long throws, Tom’s speciality, suggesting he could have a pivotal part to play tonight.   Tamworth hurt them with set-pieces in another 4-1 defeat on the road.  If Tom and co can keep Osawe and Fitzpatrick quiet down our right, to starve Hattersley, we could be in for three points tonight.

N’Guessan’s No Fox Or Lion – Can He Fly As A Robin?

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?

 

Lincoln City F.C. badge.pngThe Rangers Football Club LogoLeicester City logoBlue rampant lion above the word Millwall in blue letters.Swindon Town crest

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?

Dany N'Guessan.png
STMI Biopic
Full name Djombo Dany-Gael N’Guessan
Date of birth 11 August 1987 (age 26)
Place of birth Ivry-sur-Seine, France
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Winger, Forward
Current gig-in-the-game
Current club Swindon Town
Youth career
-2003 Auxerre
Senior stats
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 Auxerre 0 (0)
2005–2007 Rangers 0 (0)
2006–2007 Boston United (loan) 25 (5)
2007–2009 Lincoln City 97 (17)
2009–2011 Leicester City 39 (6)
2010 Scunthorpe United (loan) 3 (1)
2011 Southampton (loan) 6 (0)
2011 Millwall (loan) 2 (1)
2011–2013 Millwall 36 (4)
2012 Charlton Athletic (loan) 7 (4)
2013– Swindon Town 0 (0)

2 Tom Miller (RB CB,DM)


No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
2 Miller 16 0 1440 2 4 1 2 11 13 3 0
Ratings G Tot Ave
Miller 16 132 8.3 9 9 8 10 8 8 8 9 8 8
MOMS
Miller 4

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Remember Tom Miller only failed to fulfil his promise at Rangers when a cruciate injury effectively negated his two-year contract, just a month in, after a switch from Norwich City. Then at Newport his face didn’t fit. So we know we have the quality to back up what our eyes have told us this last 18 months. But number two begs a question: Could a player who is better as a defensive midfielder be making way for another who is equally so? Namely Dan Gray, the expected Imps right-back, who has it all, bar perhaps, the Achilles of pace.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Tom’s tenacity and none-shall pass mantra made him an instant hit at City, indeed his eight starring roles in 2011/12 played a massive part in keeping  us up. Fast forward 12 months and he had done it again, either at the heart of defence or at full-back when Diagne had succumbed to that awful gash. Tom inspires fans and team-mates alike, to have him in this season’s side of such promise, suggests sustenance to a successful Sincil Bank play-off bid. He is Lincoln personified, for this side has fight backed up by the class that, well, just might? Tom, has the boots finger and thumb to get stuck in, a stitch in time to save nine, to plug every proverbial dyke, as the fairy story would demand. Tom is certainly one who will move heaven and earth to make the dream a reality. The fairy tale ending  as team Lincoln attempt to sustain and achieve a Bank-bounce- back and a record seventh return to the Football League.

Few fans can say that there is a sense of expectation when the ball  falls to his feet, unless he is picking it up to send forth that javelin throw, of course. Like Farman, Boyce , Gray or Brown, he is seen as the reliable last line, who will throw body and soul onto the Sincil turf, to deny the foe. Indeed he is just as willing to take it to them as his away player of the year award confirms. Yet Tom is a utility player who can play anywhere along the back four or in a defensive midfield role. He has the engine to go box-to-box and those throws will be a vital piece of Simmo’s six-foot soldiers armoury again this term. Thankfully his reliability came good at another vital time, this time off the field of play, when it came to signing a new 2 year deal in the summer, suggesting he will provide substantial supporting evidence in the Lincoln City case for the defence for the foreseeable future.

A little history before the historic stats & bio………

Tom joined the Canaries at 14 and progressed through the ranks at the Colney Training centre to become Norwich City Academy player of the season, in 2008. But somehow it was not to be thanks to manager Glenn Roeder. who failed to give him a first year pro deal.

Jim Duffy, the then assistant manager, contacted Rangers when it was evident that Tom would not get what many felt should have been a deserved opportunity in the game.  He was flown up to Ibrox and had an outstanding trial game, making a telling contribution all over the pitch in a 5-1 win. Rangers gave him a two year contract to the delight of his proud father Ray, before the tragic injury struck.  Tom was then farmed out to the tough environment of the Irish League with Dundalk, before joining Newport.

Last season’s away player of the year has never hidden, home or away, whether he has been employed at full-back or centre-back, even though his best position is in a central or defensive midfield berth. In his season and a half at the Imps he has been inspirational, a true leader on the pitch when the going gets tough. A candidate for captain, he is a born winner and this two year deal suggest he shares the vision of manager Gary Simpson – that we will be there or thereabouts this season at the very least and push on in the second year.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Tom Miller’s  Imp stats 2012/13
No 20 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Centre half BSP 37 0 1 2 13 38 32 3330 9 0

 

Tom Miller’s  Imp stats 2011/12
No 35 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Centre half BSP 8 0 1 2 3 11 6 720 2 0

Badge of Newport County

Tom Miller’s Exiles stats 2011/12
Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Centre half BSP 20 4 0 0 14 21 21 1565 6 0
FULL NAME Thomas William Miller
DATE OF BIRTH 29 June 1990 (age 21)
PLACE OF BIRTH Ely,
HEIGHT 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
WEIGHT 11 st 8 lb 75.54 KG
PLAYING POSITION DEFENDER / MIDFIELDER
CURRENT CLUB Lincoln City
NUMBER TBA
YOUTH CAREER
2004-2008 Norwich
CAREER STATS
2011-2013 Lincoln C……………………45/2
2011-2012 Newport ……………………24/0
2001–2005 Dundalk …………………….0/0
2008–2009 Rangers …………………….0/0

Owls Target Sunderland and Leicester Defenders & Rebuff Barnsley

Sheffield Wednesday have announced a friendly against Rangers and knocked back a bid from Barnsley for unsettled O’Grady with Flitcroft now turning his attention to Donaldson at Brentford FC, someone the Owls could do with.   Jones is also being linked with Sunderland AFC free agent Kilgallon and St Ledger, who has no future at Leicester City. With 6 out of contract Dave Jones has funds and scope for movement to ensure the Owls start looking up rather than down in 2013/14.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Badge of Sheffield Wednesday

There is an optimism surrounding Hillsborough after a season of consolidation following promotion reward for saviour Milan and the grateful Owls. STMI will be following them this season, after being made to feel so welcome by both Owls online (Owlstalk) and in the flesh.  They and the cavernous Kop bearing that huge Thanks Milan banner are starting to bounce with 1,000 new season ticket holders already on board. The momentum is growing and, with the weight of expectation akin to that of Atlas, Dave Jones, a master at finding gems, has his work cut out. He has the pedigree to ensure that the Owls are there or thereabouts by addressing some key areas.

Wednesday do need more fire-power up front. The news that Jermaine Johnson will sign an extension will be greeted positively but Gary Madine, Chris McGuire and Chris O’Grady failed to help shoulder the burden largely left to Leroy Lita, as Dave Jones double-six gave way to 4-3-3 /4-5-1. It kept the Owls up, although McGuire got a vital winner at Millwall after the JJ/Lita show in the 3-2 thriller against Blackburn.  Barnsley have had a bid rejected for O’Grady, after his successful loan spell but, manager Flitcroft, will allegedly not follow it up on his self professed ‘”no 1 target” and turn instead to Brentford’s Clayton Donaldson or ex-Blade John Stead.

The Owls do have two fantastic wide-boys to supply whoever comes in with some golden bullets. They will welcome the return of Michail Antonio, injured in the spring, next term, he was sorely missed after a great start, leaving JJ with a huge ask. He duly delivered with aplomb, but he is not getting any younger (32), suggesting  the need for cover as McGuire and Lee are relatively poor replacements out wide. Mind you Buxton’s runs from full-back are a treat to behold.

The Owls midfield was overwhelmed at times last season, with central midfield quantity being a poor substitute for quality.  Semedo is a fans favourite, Lines, Prutton and Coke are tryers, but early season loans at League 1 clubs, suggest the Owls need to invest in at least one midfield general if they are to look up rather than down. Coke (27) has been offered a new deal by Jones this month, but is yet to sign. Rhys McCabe and Paul Cory are still young but would certainly benefit from a seasoned campaigner to help them realise their potential. Cheltenham’s Marlon Pack (22) is on the radar. At first hand he may not be  seen as a landmark signing, but he has the quality and engine to take the step up in his stride.  The compensation fee would also leave plenty to spare for elsewhere.

Right-back and player of the season Lewis Buxton has just agreed a new two year deal, fantastic on the overlap, his delivery ensures a dangerous and consistent end product for the Owls. Jones is being linked with ex-Sunderland free agent Kilgallon and St Ledger who has no future at Leicester City with favourite Miguel Llera rumoured to be leaving Hillsborough (if agents talk is to be believed). The Owls defence was somewhat overworked at times last season and conceded 61 goals. Llera and Gardner put in some brave performances last year,given the step up and hearts in mouths aside. With Garner’s injury record, Taylor, now 33 and, Llera out of contract, a Fox and Black cat capture could be the stitch in time that saves 9.  Left-back Reda Johnson is a fans favourite but Leeds Danny Pugh looked useful during a loan to cover for RJ’s injury. Joe Mattock can play at right or left back but struggled when called on to deputise.

Kirkland was ever-present in his first season and is happy to stay despite rumoured Premiership interest. He will be first choice again, with understudy Stephen Bywater (limited to 4 cup games) offered a new deal whilst the ageing Weaver has been released.  As further back-up, if needed, the Owls have Cameron Dawson who is an England U19 keeper. With a full-complement of keepers it leaves plenty in the kitty for a striker to get the Kop out of there seats. Donaldon could be the answer but Mansfield’s Green has surprisingly missed out during a trial at Birmingham. Now he is a gamble who could pay off better than Adam Le Fondre did for Reading.

 

Millers Making His Mind Up Then?

Tom Miller does not appear to be going to Wycombe Wanderers FC  after all. The former Norwich City, Rangers and Newport County midfielder come defender has been pivotal in the Imps battle to beat the drop.   By his own admission he enjoyed the run-in last season and the Bank brave-heart’s award for away player of the season 2012/13, was richly deserved. Thankfully a lack of any official bids does seem to suggest that he will join close pal, Andrew Boyce, in signing a new two year deal at the Imps after the completion of he and the manager’s holidays.  That will be fantastic news for Imps scurrying to purchase discounted season tickets.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Tom is a hero and together with Andrew and Nat Brown, the Imps look set for a terrific season next term. A utility defender/midfielder with a throw like a javelin, Tom epitomise the none-shall-pass, never say die, attitude of the Sincil Six-foot Soldiers along with Boycey. These two throw life and limb on the line for the whole 90 minutes, week in week out.  So does Dan Gray and Brownie, suggesting our back-four are Sincil Bank brave-hearts,  dependable Dogs of War home and away.

Come on Tom, you are our heartbeat, sign and be the inspiration for the Rise of The Imps.

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Tom Miller’s  Imp stats 2012/13
No 20 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Centre half BSP 37 0 1 2 13 38 32 3330 9 0

 

Tom Miller’s  Imp stats 2011/12
No 35 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Centre half BSP 8 0 1 2 3 11 6 720 2 0

Badge of Newport County

Tom Miller’s Exiles stats 2011/12
Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Centre half BSP 20 4 0 0 14 21 21 1565 6 0
FULL NAME Thomas William Miller
DATE OF BIRTH 29 June 1990 (age 21)
PLACE OF BIRTH Ely,
HEIGHT 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
WEIGHT 11 st 8 lb 75.54 KG
PLAYING POSITION DEFENDER / MIDFIELDER
CURRENT CLUB Lincoln City
NUMBER TBA
YOUTH CAREER
2004-2008 Norwich
CAREER STATS
2011-2013 Lincoln C……………………45/2
2011-2012 Newport ……………………24/0
2001–2005 Dundalk …………………….0/0