Former Sheffield Wednesday, Oxford United, Mansfield Town, Stevenage, York City, Rotherham and Alfreton centre-half Luke Foster was released by League 1 side Preston North End in May, he has been with Lincoln since training began. Another ex- Sheffield Wednesday youth, the Mexborough lad was spotted by Simmo and signed by KA in 2005. Despite getting a two year deal he played no part in John Schofield’s brief carpet-ball revolution during the 2006-7 season. Still on trial at Lincoln, the big question is: Will he sign and thus complete the Imps defensive jigsaw? This will be vital if the fantastic forward four are to be able to fire us to glory. Simmo clearly knows the lad, but he will have to use his enticing skills to the full, if he is to have any chance of landing a talented centre-back.
Thank-you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Sheffield Wednesday rated Luke highly enough to offer him a first year pro-deal then farmed him out for experience to Scarborough and Alfreton. Simmo, a lifelong Wednesday fan (the top job would be the dream, but only once his driven mission at Lincoln was complete), was eager to take him to Lincoln and he signed a two year deal, unbeknown to all that the KA era would soon come to a close. Schofield never gave Luke a look in during the second season of his deal and York took him on loan.
Stalybridge offered him a deal for the start of the season but Luke class and composure earned a deal with Oxford just 4 games into the new season. He was a rock (illustrating his BSP) pedigree as Oxford finally got back into the Football League. He became captain and won the fans and players’ awards for best player, making 109 commanding appearances for United, scoring 3 goals. The move to Holdsworth’s Mansfield in 2010 did not work out with just 16 outings. Luke slated Mansfield under Reg, referring to the dressing room as a shambles although he did make a full apology to the fans.
Stevenage offered him a way out and he was inspirational in the League 1 play-off success of 2010-11. The 24 league games certainly put the Stags stint behind him. The move to ambitious big spending Rotherham saw Luke sustain a cruciate injury that wiped out the season. Keen to stay local (he has interests in fashion and retail) Luke signed for Matlock making 9 appearances last season until a relative heavyweight came calling.
Preston teed up a trial which and to his credit he showed enough at the Whites to earn a deal until the end of the season. This shows the quality we could soon come to rely on even if he managed just 8 appearances (6 league 2 cup) and one goal (header V Coventry FLT) for Preston last season. The first choice central defensive pairing of Wright and Huntingdon is something of an irresistible and immovable force.
The Imps have had to play a waiting game, but as they say possession is nine tenths of the law. Luke is Yorkshire based, as are his growing business interests in fashion. Indeed Luke wants to have a multi-million business by the time he is 40, to this end he and his partner have set up 601 Ltd. So we need a need a centre-half and according to an interesting Linked in profile snippet, with regard to his time at Lincoln : First time being a pro and made me the person I am today. Could this suggest that Luke may benefit from teaming up with Simmo again? He could certainly add to his international CV, having played just the once against Bosnia Herzegovina.
Preston 2012/13 stats
|Sq no||Player||Starts||Sub||Mins||Goals||Shots off||Shots on||Assists||YC||RC|
Centre-backs Nick Fenton (Man City, Notts County, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham Utd & Morecambe FC) and Rob Atkinson (Grimsby Town, Fleetwood & Accrington) have eluded Simmo it would appear. Fenton has been offered a deal by Chester FC, with Alfreton also still in talks, whilst Atkinson has signed a new deal at Accrington. To follow the SP and STMI biopic on both the lads.
thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
Lincoln currently have Foster on trial but have been in for the two. Foster was composed and classy against Lincoln Utd, but doubts crept in last night at Harrogate. The Fenton deal may also not quite be as dead as the proverbial Dodo though. Nick has spent the last two seasons at Morecambe as he continues to finish a physio course. The course is based at Mansfield suggesting Alfreton or Lincoln, could still be in ‘with a wee’ shout. That said according to the agents grapevine:
“Chester are paying some big money out, I know a few lads who have got some welcome results out of Conference new-boys this summer. Mind Chester’s certainly going the age and experience route, but then they need that to bring an exiting batch through. They’ll be dark horses for the play-offs in my book.”
Nick is still quality, even at 33, a composed class act at Conference level, suggesting ambitious, but experience seeking, Chester will get him. The competition is Alfreton who have gone part-time. Word is they are beating suitors for Tomlinson off with a stick, in the knowledge his heart is already in another place (ours please!). Apologies for the tangent. Nick started out at Manchester City, progressed through the ranks and earned a 5 year first pro deal! He was loaned to Notts County, Bournemouth and then County again before they took the plunge with a £150k transfer fee and a four year deal. He would play 147 League games, plus cup competitions, for County before moving onto Doncaster, a side very much on the rise. They let him go to Grimsby (as a replacement for Big Ben Futcher) along with Ravenhill, as it was felt the Championship was too much for him. This just 1 League and 1 cup game, against Rochdale, into the season. Rotherham came calling and he played 3 seasons as Captain at the Millers through thick and thin. Nick has spent the last two seasons at Morecambe as he continues to finish a physio course.
|Full name||Nicholas Leonard Fenton
|Date of birth||23 November 1979 (age 33)|
|Place of birth||Preston,|
|Height/Weight||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 12st 4lb (78KG)|
|1999–2000||Notts County (loan)||13||(1)|
|2000||Notts County (loan)||8||(0)|
The inspirational centre-back was schooled at Barnsley, one of the Championship’s longest inhabitants and offered a five year deal. He was loaned for experience to Scarborough, Halifax and Rochdale before Grimsby did a try before you buy and then bought him. He went down with the Mariners ship and into the Blue Square before Fleetwood flashed the cash. The other Cod Army signed him as they stormed the BSP on the way to the Football League, with Rob gaining 2 England C caps. He was almost unbeatable that year, but not seen as League material so they released him. Accrington gave a one year deal and have offered the same this season.
|Full name||Robert Guy Atkinson
|Date of birth||29 April 1987 (age 26)
|Place of birth||North Ferriby, England|
|Height/Weight||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 12 st 4lb (78kg)
|Current club||Accrington Stanley|
|2006||Halifax Town (loan)||4||(2)|
|2007–2008||Grimsby Town (loan)||24||(1)|
|2008–2009||Grimsby Town (loan)||9||(1)|
|2009||Grimsby Town (loan)||1||(0)|
|2012||Accrington Stanley (loan)||12||(0)|