Wednesday, 8 June 2011
It was always my intention to conclude the blog at the end of the 2009-10 season - to end on a celebratory note and see 2010-11 as the start of a different story. Keith Hill’s departure doesn’t change that because he only entered the previous story in 1996 , halfway through it. I also didn’t want to be recording hasty impressions of the current squad which would be inevitable if the blog became open-ended. I was hoping to finish before the end of 2010-11 anyway but life got in the way !
I should just mention that there were other players who put on a Dale shirt but haven’t featured because they only appeared in Cup ties and the blog was primarily concerned with the League story. Most famous of these is the guy above, Steve Bywater, who became our record export despite conceding 6 in his only senior appearance in the Autoglass Trophy. Along with Gary Jones he is the only survivor of the Barrow era still playing League football. We also had Steve Wilkinson a useful striker for Mansfield , Preston and Chesterfield who played in a couple of League Cup ties in 1996 while on loan from Leicester. Then there were the mysterious Karl Rose who made his debut in the same Auto Windscreens game as Paddy McCourt in 2001 but was never seen again and David Walsh whose only outing was a substitute appearance at Ewood Park during the 6-1 mauling in the League Cup in 2000.
Keith Hill’s reign was also noted for the number of players who came and went on short term deals without making an appearance. So honourable mentions to Charles Comyn-Platt , Stephen Vaughan , David Button, Lewis Montrose, Jerome Watt and Michael Lea who never got the chance to show us what they could do.
Then there were some notable appearances in pre-season where the player didn’t actually sign for us. Former Liverpool super-sub David Fairclough scored against Blackburn in the Lancashire Cup in 1986 but that was his only game. Jamie Doyle was apparently one of the brightest prospects in Scottish football when I was getting Shoot ! in the late 70s but failed to impress Eddie Gray in the Lancs Cup games of 1987.
Most bizarrely of all Chris Armstrong was taken on after being released by Leeds then bought by Queen of the South before the start of the season in 2004, a nifty bit of business by Steve Parkin particularly as the player has achieved little in the game since.
So that’s it. The Comments facility will remain open and perhaps some of the picture gaps will be filled but otherwise it’s finished . Maybe in years to come there’ll be a continuation but at the moment I have no plans for that. While remaining a season ticket holder I missed most of the away games in 2010-11 ( surely the worst set of fixtures ever for a travelling fan ? ) and I can’t see a return to the commitment of the early seasons covered here. Despite my best efforts my son might want to do other things on a Saturday and fanaticism in your forties isn’t desirable anyway, suggesting deficiencies elsewhere in your life.
Thanks for your time and perhaps you might like to explore some of the other blogs under the Clarke Chroniclers umbrella ?
Up The Dale !
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Position : Forward
Played : 2009-10 to ?
Appearances : 4 to date
Goals : 1 to date
Young Reece isn't really part of the promotion story as he didn't appear until after we'd secured our place in League One. I've only seen his debut as a sub at home to Burton where he looked to have a good touch and some confidence about him. He's made three more substitute appearances since then and scored the winner with an unlikely header at Bournemouth in last season's final game.
Reece concludes the 2009-10 season.
Position : Winger
Played : 2009-10 ( on loan from Bolton )
Appearances : 11
Goals : 1
Temitope was the final signing of the season . He was 20 and had three substitute appearances in the Premiership ( Arsenal and United were two of the opposing teams ) and a decent reputation to his credit. Earlier in the season he'd been on loan at Swindon and scored twice in 12 appearances.
He came on at Bury in February when we were chasing the game and made a good impression. He managed to wriggle past his man on the by-line and lay on an easy chance for Chris O' Grady who inexplicably missed it. He got a goal at home to Dagenham two games later but otherwise he just caused frustration. There was something there; he was very quick and difficult to dispossess but he usually did the defender's job for them and beat himself. I remember him receiving a throw in at Macclesfield and the ball bouncing straight back off his shin into touch.
He's still with Bolton but 9 goalless games on loan at Shrewsbury were his only League outings last season.
Position : Winger
Played : 2009-10 ( on loan from Blackburn )
Appearances : 7
Goals : 0
Andy arrived in January. He was 21 and had made two cup appearances for Rovers. He had also played 6 games on loan at Gateshead.
An injury to Will Buckley in the warm-up at Cheltenham meant an instant League debut for Andy and he certainly made it one to remember. He had pace to burn and two good feet and soon had the Robins rocking ! He could have scored two spectacular goals from distance but the first shot hit the post and came out and the second was barely clawed out by the keeper to the feet of Chris O Grady who thumped it home for his second goal.
However it appeared that Keith Hill wasn't quite as impressed as the rest of us and had words with Andy about ball retention and cavalier play. Andy's willingness to share that discussion with the media probably didn't help his cause either. He was used sparingly thereafter. He came on late at Notts County after two months rooted to the bench and almost kept the title race alive with a long range shot that skimmed the bar. He then played the first half against Hereford and was awful ( in fairness so was everyone else) and that was the last we saw of him.
He signed for Bury in the close season and made 40 appearances although 50% of them were as substitute scoring 3 goals.
Position : Forward
Played : 2009-10 ( on loan from Port Vale )
Appearances : 2
Goals : 0
Danny was signed in December to give us some striking cover. He had made 41 appearances for Vale but had a poor relationship with the fans as the son of Dean Glover a legend as a player but not a successful manager for them. His paltry 4 goal tally can't have helped matters. He was on loan at Salisbury City before coming to us.
Danny had some very nice things to say about his brief sojourn with us and it would be nice to return the compliment but his two brief substitute appearances didn't leave any lasting impression. In years to come when fans look at the promotion stats his is the name that will have fans scratching their heads.
Danny played one more game for Vale then in March went on loan to Stafford Rangers knowing he'd be released at the end of the season. He played for Worcester City last season scoring twice in 8 games.
Position : Midfield
Played : 2009-10 ( on loan from Rotherham )
Appearances : 23
Goals : 1
Jason also made his debut away at Dagenham. He began as a trainee at Oldham but made his League debut on loan at Stockport in 2006 . After 9 games they made the move permanent . He played 96 games for County scoring 6 goals. Keith Hill tried to sign him in January 2009 when his contract expired but Rotherham made him a better offer. However Hill kept an eye on his fortunes and as soon as Jason lost his first team place brought him in on a season-long loan.
Jason was the last major piece of the promotion jigsaw to fall into place. His midfield partnership with Jason Kennedy made us near- unbeatable for three months and we could afford to drop points thereafter. The crop-headed bruiser stood in front of the back four , broke up attacks then played a simple pass to someone more creative. He did sometimes come forward but never tried anything fancy just did a solid job week after week. The only blot was a red card for fighting at Accrington.
There didn't seem much prospect of signing him in the close season and indeed he played in nearly every game for Rotherham in 2010-11
Position : Winger
Played : 2009-10 ( two separate spells) ; 2010-11 ( all on loan from Hull City )
Appearances : ( first spell ) 8 ; (second spell) 7 ; (third spell ) 21
Goals : ( first spell ) 3 ; ( second spell ) 0 ; ( third spell ) 2
Will arrived in November to make his debut in the win at Dagenham. He turned professional with Hull in 2007 making his debut on loan at Port Vale in October that year. After 4 games with them he made his debut for Hull in the FA Cup before 12 games on loan at Mansfield in their last League campaign. He stayed in Hull's reserves for the duration of 2008-09 then came to us after a Carling Cup appearance.
Will wasn't blessed with great pace but had enough skill to give the full back problems and did his fair share of tracking back. He could play on either flank but would always cut inside if we played him on the right. He played during our purple patch leading up to Christmas and signed off his first spell with a brace at home to Morecambe.
He returned in February for another couple of months and wasn't quite as good. He returned to Hull in time to play in their last two games in the Premiership grabbing a goal in the draw with Wigan. He started last season in the side but after 4 games he was dropped and in December he webnt to Rotherham on loan. He played three games scoring once but chose to return to us in January rather than extend his stay there.
Will was rather disappointing third time round. He didn't look fully fit and his general play was very sluggish. He had the odd good moment like the excellent headed goal at Notts County but didn't make the impact we were expecting.