The hot news from Macc Town suggests that Arnaud Mendy could sign for Leyton Orient, Sam Wedgbury for Morecambe FC, veteran Paul Morgan for Barrow and Ben Tomlinson for Alfreton. Even Nat Brown with a year left on his contract and recently interesting Chesterfield and York City, is now available on a free transfer.
Upon his arrival new manager Steve King, having released 16, suggested that he expected most of the Macclesfield squad to leave. The new man is keen to get his own men in, buoyed by over £1.2million in transfer fees thanks largelyto Peterborough and Ipswich amongst others as 7 were sold. Ryan Jackson comes in from AFC Wimbledon, Keeper Lance Cronin has arrived from Bristol Rovers and winger Peter Winn comes in from Stevenage.
Midfielder Arnaud Mendy is interesting Russell Slade who is mindful of the new 65% wage cap rules as he seeks two further signings. The 22 year-old French born Bissau-Guinean certainly has the ability and physique to excel in League 1. Sam Wedgbury could be Morecambe boss Jim Bentley’s third signing of the summer although Fleetwood might also have a say.
Paul Morgan may have another season in him after all with Barrow in talks. Could Morgs also be using this as a way into football physio? He already has a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Salford. Striker Ben Tomlinson could well be lining up for Alfreton next season after talks with Reds manager Nicky Law. The Derbyshire based club would be within easy reach for the a nippy lad who scored after 6.4 seconds for Macc against Morecambe last September.
Nat Brown appears to be interesting a few clubs along with Colin Daniels and Ross Draper. Chesterfield have had an interest in Brown for a few weeks and may make a move now he is available on a free. Then again recently promoted York may be able to enlist the services of Scott Kerr in persuading his ex-Imp mate to join the Minstermen as they make a triumphant return to the Football League.
Nat Brown has been told he can now leave on a free transfer despite having a year left on his contract. Question is will this alert The Spireites after their interest cooled or could he end up joining someone nearer home. Mansfield or York may also step in for the popular ex-Imp, who was a hero at either end for the Silkmen.
At 30, Nat Brown still has plenty to offer and is certainly good enough for League 1 or League 2 as ex-Imp Scott Kerr at newly promoted York would attest. He is the sort of brave talismanic figure a side needs and his presence in either box has seen him pop up at vital moments with heroic results. Brown was an unsung hero at the Imps and always gave it his all after joining us from Huddersfield.
He enjoyed play-off success with the Terriers in 2003/04 and did well at the Imps under KA, who resigned him at Macclesfield. A wrist injury saw him drop down Schofield’s pecking order before Jacko agreed a by mutual consent deal that allowed him to move to Wrexham in June 2008. He was the life and soul at Macclesfield under Keith Alexander and then Simmo.
If the raffle went well or Gowling were to leave Nat would be someone we could really use next season. His spirit alone keeps a dressing room bubbling and his wage demands would not be huge.
|Full name||Nathaniel Brown|
|Date of birth||15 June 1981 (age 30)|
|Place of birth||Sheffield, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Position||11 st 9lb (73.92kg)|
|Position: defender / forward|
|Current club||Macclesfield Town|
|Senior career (Lge & Cup)|
|2008–2009||Macclesfield Town (loan)||33||(6)|
Paul Musselwhite is a cult hero with Scunthorpe United, Hull City and Port Vale after a League career spanning 619 games. He then went on to make 57 appearances at Gateshead as they gained promotion from the Northern Premier and Conference North in successive seasons. A 619th League appearance as a sub against Southend would be our former player-coach’s only game for the Imps. Now 43 he is on the verge of a return to the League with York City.
Paul spent the 2-1 play-off win over Luton, on the bench, but he has tasted 6 promotions and a Football League Trophy win in 1992/92 with Port Vale. Vale were then Second Division runners up in 1993/94 as Paul amassed 367 appearances in all competitions before moving to Hull in 2000. In 2004 he saw silverware again with a Third Division Runners up medal. A return to Scunthorpe United in 2004 saw him notch a League 2 runners up medal in his first season.
After 2 years and 82 games Paul, then 37 dropped into the non-league with Eastleigh. Unable to sell his house in Scunthorpe, Martin Foyle signed him as cover for Vale before Harrogate came in for him. Ambitious Gateshead then offered him a deal in January 2008. In 18 months he tasted successive play-off success with a Northern Premier League Premier victory in 2007–08 and the Conference North in 2008/09. This May saw the potential for a return to league action, thanks to York’s 2-1 play-off win over York City.
Paul was a cult hero among Imps, as much for his affable nature as his work behind the scenes coaching Joe Anyon. The song we all wish for a team of Musselwhites, based on the Freddy Flintoff ditty, shows how much he was admired. He would always chat to fans and lift the spirits during a time that saw Jackson and Sutton leave in successive Octobers. Paul stepped in as assistant manager with Scott Lindsay prior to the Tilson appointment and made his debut at 41 when Anyon was injured away at Southend.
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Simon Russell has today left the Imps by mutual consent suggesting new boys Nuneaton or ex club Tamworth (Surely not 3 times the charm for Cambridge United?) may well be set to make a move. He played 153 games for Kidderminster Harriers and got 6 in 67 over two spells for Cambridge as well and is an energetic and capable midfielder at Conference level. So before we get to the fond farewell …… with a wide boy leaving could either Matt Hamshaw (STMI BIOPIC HERE) or Adam Smith (STMI BIOPIC) be waiting in the Wings?
|Simon Russell’s Imp stats 2011/12|
pic thanks to wiki
|Full name||Simon Craig Russell|
|Date of birth||19 March 1985 (age 27)|
|Place of birth||Hull,|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||10st 5lb (65.83kg)|
|Position Midfield R/L/C|
|Current club||free agent|
|Senior Stats (Lge & cup)|
|2010||Cambridge United (loan)||17||(0)|
|Imps – 26 League, 1 FAC, 2 FAT|
It’s not just the Imps, Luton Town, Stockport County, Wrexham, York City, Mansfield Town, Darlington and the Meteoric Mariners that are hurting, the whole of the pinnacle of non-league football is being held back.
Humbug – The Blue Square Bet Premier fixtures committee need to have a long hard look at their modus operandi says moaning old man Vic Erzantarz.
Given the BSP is now the undisputed fifth tier of English Footall, the pinnacle, the Gateway if you wish, they need to change the fixture equation. The Division remember is looking for three up and three down, all but in name an intention to merge the league and non-League. Yet its ‘mickey mouse approach to the fixtures is limiting its members financially at the worst possible time for football.
For the opening two and a half months of the season teams play twice a week, as much to make the most of the clement elements, as to give the pitches growing time. Yet so many of these Tuesday games involve the juicier fixtures that are costing the clubs hundreds of turnstile clicks and thus thousands towards their war chests. Our second game of the season against Wrexham saw just 159 Dragons (they average 471 away 3rd best in Div), Stockport, on a Friday, saw 267 travel (they average 320 away) and of course came 327 from Luton on a Tuesday (they average 694 away). We got 2049 against Luton when a Saturday would have seen 500 more Imps plus at least another 400 Hatters. At an average entry fee of £12 that would have meant an extra 11 grand in the Imps till at a time when we were losing 5 grand a week.
By contrast the visit of York saw us hit our 3,000 break even figure at the time, as over 700 Minstermen travelled. Mansfield, on a Tuesday did see 981 travel to swell the gate to 2,944, yet the added spice of a derby with an ex-manager ingredient would have seen the Stags travell in much bigger numbers. Although they brought 3 times their average away following the Stags have traditionally travelled in massive numbers. Saw them play Notts County a few years ago and they took more than their home average gate. Awesome support.
Feel free to check the ‘payday’ you are missing with the STMI average away gates HERE
Only at Christmas and New Year do we get a delicious derby double-header. Perhaps this has something to do with Police advice, yet surely they can ensure that these games take place on a Saturday given the bonhemmie enjoyed by most of the fans we meet at this level. The improvement in atmosphere, is part and parcel of the football experience, as father and son escape the bleakness of austerity to partake in a timeless journey to manhood. The added cash will also safeguard the existence of a lifelong bond with a cruel yet magnificent mistress that we Imps, Hatters x 2 (Stockport & Luton) and all 69 other non-league aspiring clubs, know and curse so well.
No one is suggesting that the BSP extend the season by a month, although why not as it will keep the tills ringing in the harsh summer lay-off, but at least look at helping your members to maximise their gate receipts. Let’s face it the ‘telly’ and advertising revenue comes a pretty poor second to gate receipts and benevelent bailouts hereabouts. In reality the non-league financial climate is hardly a bed of roses is it and can you really see those Football League Turkey’s voting for a 3 up 3 down Christmas?
Confidence is one thing Joe, but believing we are bigger than Luton Town, Grimsby Town, Stockport County, Mansfield & York, by saying we are the biggest club in the non-league is poorer form than we are showing on the pitch. Putting on my somewhat dusty ‘rose tinted specs’ David Holdsworth appears to have succeeded in building a long overdue camaraderie and belief culture at Sincil Bank – well if Joe Anyon’s outburst is anything to go by.
Given we are going into a game against Kidderminster, in the top 6, this is asking for trouble – we are three points off the bottom four for heavens sake and do not want to add to the burden. Harriers manager Steve Burr will be pinning Anyon’s comments in the Echo ( HERE ) to the changing room wall as a motivational tool ahead of an already stiff test for us on Saturday. Remember Joe, you have conceded 12 goals in the 6 games played since your spirited return to the first team.
Let us hope the comments on the Echo site ( HERE ) have been taken out of context on a slow news day. We want the players to believe in the institution they are representing. Believing we are the biggest club in non-league football is one thing, but to go public at the moment is mad and doing little more than motivating those around us. Coming to Sincil Bank is treated as a cup final by many whilst all regard an ex League team as a scalp. Why give them more motivation to rub our noses in a muddy sanded goal mouth.
Here are just a couple of reasons that suggest we are anything but ‘the biggest’ on another week of ludicrously mixed PR messages. Firstly our budget is nowhere near the biggest as we have no sugar Daddy (despite the latest cash injection propaganda – as usual long on headlines short on actual details) with Holdsworth fearing a summer exodus, judging by comments he made only this week . Secondly the obvious apathy born of fans losing faith with those at the helm at the club, means the gates are edging towards mid-table at best.
No one wants to break the bubble of optimism Joe. But lets get the points on the board and start proving our point where it counts shall we? All this does is get the other 23 teams backs up and smack of our club having visions of grandeur without any real basis. Optimism yes Reg, but reign it in because this is delusion, plain and simple.
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Anyone as yet undecided as to whether they fancy seeing Lincoln take on York City this Sincil Super Saturday, should chance it, because this is one of the BSP’s biggest derbies. With York riding high in 5th upwards of 800 are set to travel from the house of York in a cathedral City clash that sees a hero from both sides cross the trenches.
The first, Scott ‘Cruncher’ Kerr, the former Imps captain, will do battle with Thompson fresh from signing a new and well deserved deal. The second Pacquette may have to be patient on the bench with Laurent shaking off an injury. The form suggests a win for York, but look more closely and the draw becomes more probable. York are fresh from two draws while Holdsworth’s rejuvenated Imps are resilient at home and hopefully bolstered by some interesting new additions.
Gowling is back from suspension, so he should start surely? Pearson looks the most likely to start next to him although Watson and Williams are also in the reckoning. In midfield Platt and Power should get the nod, although Power’s training appearances have been limited earlier in the week. Thompson and Christophe will vie for the ball in the middle as the Imps go 4-4-2 with Laurent and Taylor up front. Pacquette could also get a look in if Laurent is not fit to stay the course and Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick is busting at the seems to get a Sincil Bank bow. What some may say we still lack in ability , it seems is more than made up for in endeavour.
Lincoln City 4-4-2
Sinclair Pearson Gowling Nutter
Power Thompson Christophe Platt
Substitutes Smith, Watson / Williams 15 Russell, Lloyd-McGoldrick / Sheridan / Pacquette
York may have an Achilles at the heart of the defence but keeper Ingham is ever and perhaps omni-present. With clever centre-half McGurk out, captain Smith thankfully returns and Parslow and Fyfield fight it out for a place next to him. Full-backs Oyebanjo and Meredith complete the back four. Kerr and Blair will look to free Boucaud and McLaughlin on the flanks although newly acquired creative influence Scott Brown arrived from Fleetwood just in time to be eligible for today. Up front Reed and Chambers will start as the Minstermen will be missing injured £2million rated Jason Walker and Liam Henderson, now on loan at Forest Green Rovers. Wide men McLaughlin and Pilkington did the damage last time out as York ran out 0-2 in a game that was closer than the score suggested. Boucaud has been keeping Pilkington on the bench of late and will also need to be watched if we do not want a repeat.
York City 4-4-2
2 Oyebanjo 16 Fyfield 4 Smith 3 Meredith
15 Boucaud 17 Blair 8 Kerr 26 McLaughlin
10 Chambers 7 Reed
Substitutes 6 Parslow 12 Pilkington 20 Challinor , 18 Moke, 11 Brown
As you would expect York City and ex Imps captain, Scott Kerr is not coming to Sincil Bank quietly. Good, because here to meet and greet him and 1,000 York City fans will be Tyrone Thompson, who is desperate to secure a longer term Lincoln City deal. And behind him the pride of what is left of a post Scott Kerr Impdom – which should never be underestimated. There will also be beauty in the form of Conal the Conjurer and poetic justice from pistols at 6 Pacquette, the ex Minstermen, set to complete this delectable New Years derby duel.
Scott Kerr indisputably wore his heart on his sleeve for the half decade he inconsistently marshalled our midfield. But in the words of the Imps anthem ‘wise men say only fools rush in’ and as Scott modestly points out to the press, his presence might well have made a difference to our survival; but opinions will vary over that and his true proactive contribution over that same 5 years. Kerr would get sacked more regularly than Rome during its own latter demise in the midfield – the one place where games are effectively won and lost – and then having won the ball his decisions and frustrating passing record meant we had it all to do all over again.
Tyrone Thomson our new ball winner, is totally different, he keeps it simple, using the ball far more wisely and within his capabilities. These two will be the key battle you feel in the battle of attrition that will determine the level of possession enjoyed by either side theis super Sincil Saturday. So come on Tyrone, put him Kerr in his place and show him we have turned the corner and moved on. Even if pride is all we have left with the cupboards apparently bare, we need to show the pride and the passion on the pitch, because that is where it counts.
Surprise, surprise Scott has been talking to the press ahead of the big game.
“I’m not afraid to back myself and say that if I had not left Lincoln when I did, they would still be in the league,” he told the Lincolnshire Echo
“I would have done everything and anything to get them over the line and looking back now that is a regret.”
Kerr maintains he had no choice but to leave, given the apathy shown towards him by Steve Tilson – where have we heard that before – and has earned the captain’s armband at York. But come 3 PM on Saturday he will have Tyrone, and Jean Francoise between him and the bragging rights and Conol the Conjurer and Jamie Taylor . And that is before we get to the creative influences that are making trips to Sincil Bank pleasant experiences once again.
Come on lads a win or a draw is just what we need for lift off in 2012 and Tyrone is just the lad to get the ball so that our quality players can do it.
York City manager Mills wants a kick-start after two draws against Mansfield Town saw the Minstermen maintain 5th spot. He and the 900 set to travel, expect this to be a welcome three points that sees them maintain a play-off spot. As for Scott Kerr, well the ex Lincoln City Captain is a whole different matter entirely.
The central defensive woes are partly solved, Smith is back but McGurk is out so Parslow and Fyfield vie for a start at centre half. Kerr will relish a return to Sincil Bank, indeed he modestly feels there would be no BSP fayre at the Bank, had he stayed the course last season. We shall see.
But without further ado lets go and have a gander at the form of the foe
|Last 5 Home||5||2||2||1||13||5||8||8||10|
|Last 5 Away||5||1||4||0||6||4||2||7||7|
BSP top 7 Jan 5th 2012
The Highs & Lows
|Biggest Home Win||7-0 Kettering Town|
|Biggest Away Win||Kettering Town 1-5|
|Heaviest Home Defeat||2-3 Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 AFC Telford United, 0-1 Alfreton Town|
|Heaviest Away Defeat||Tamworth 2-1, Gateshead 3-2|
|Highest Scoring game||6-2 Braintree Town|
|Highest Gate||4295 Wrexham|
|Lowest Gate||2030 Bath|
|Total turnstile clicks||44094|
Heroes & Villains
|Moke/Pilkington /Fyfield /Challinor||2|
|Kerr / Meredith / Blair||3|
|Boucaud / Moke / Oyebanjo||2|
|Smith / Parslow / Challinor / Reed / Potts||1|
|Matty Blair / Chris Smith||4|
|Scott Kerr / Jason Walker||3|
|Andre Boucaud / Jon Challinor||3|
|Jamal Fyfield / Jamie Reed||2|
|Lanre Oyebanjo / Patrick McLauchlin||2|
|Adrian Moke / Ashley Chambers||1|
Keeper Corner Michael Ingham
Squad No: 24 Age: 31 DoB: 9/7/1980 Northern Ireland Height: 1.93m Weight: 87.16 kg Yellow cards 1
|Games / Goals Conceded||Saves||Shut Outs|
|25 / 26||113||9|
With Christmas upon us, it is perhaps no surprise to see Wrexham, Fleetwood Town, York City and Luton Town making up the top six with Cambridge just two points off Kidderminster Harriers, who take up the last play-off place. Southport, the surprise package sit third with big spenders Mansfield Town a lot lower than expected. Grimsby Town another side with a big budget are now just 8 points off the pace going into the two derbies with Lincoln City. Size isn’t always everything it seems with a good mince pie munching manager’s weight still worth more than their sugar daddies gold.
The Lincolnshire Derby might be top billing in our eyes, but Luton and Kettering will see the highest crowd and second placed Fleetwood and third placed Southport arguably play out the ‘Blue Square ‘Biggy on Boxing Day. Wrexham must fancy the trip to Telford although Mansfield’s V York will also see a well supported and keenly contested local ‘ish’ affair. With the same fixtures in reverse for one and all Kidderminster will be hard pushed against Forest Green, suggesting a Cambridge United’s duel with Braintree could well see a new face in the play off race come 2012.
Here is the BSP table as at 24th December, followed by the crowd stats
|9||Forest Green Rovers||25||9||10||6||38||25||13||37|
|18||AFC Telford United||25||5||9||11||25||34||-9||24|
|21||Hayes & Yeading||25||5||6||14||35||52||-17||21|
Size of fanbase isn’t everything it seems with good managers worth more than their weight in their sugar daddies gold. Here are the total turnstile clicks, seasonal highs and averages ahead of the festive double headers that are sure to trouble the statisticians over the next nine days.
|19||Forest Green Rovers||13||13452||1848||1035||9th|
|24||Hayes & Yeading||13||4805||1015||370||21st|