Date:Wednesday June 2 2010
Despite the rantings of the Cambridge United manager (not bitter at all then?) after losing two of his better players to the Hatters, Richard Money has confirmed that last season our budget was not the highest in the League but probably in the top 6, and that this season we have a lower budget than last. He stated that we are not 'throwing money around` and that the players who have joined have done so because they want to play for a bigger club and for the challenge at a club who are giving it a real go next season.
So where do we stand for next season?
Last season Mick Harford`s record (not including Chester results) was:
P11 W6 D2 L3 Pts 20 Ave per game 1.81 pts.
Alan Neilson`s record was:
P6 W3 D2 L1 Pts 11 Ave per game 1.83 pts
Richard Money`s record last season in the league was:
P27 W17 D6 L 4 Pts 57 Ave per game 2.11 pts
That record speaks for itself, (although even extrapolated over the whole season we would still not have caught Stevenage), when there was little opportunity or budget to bring in many changes of personnel. Those he did bring in were enough to improve the showing of the side and the loan signing of Simon Heslop was key in achieving the 9 match winning sequence.
It seems to me that Richard Money has the skills to manage the side well and with Gary Brabin as Assistant Manager, and Alan Neilson also involved, the management team will be stronger than last season.
How is the rebuilding process going so far?
Shane Gore: Reasonable keeper who let no one down when he played a couple of times against Rochdale in the FA Cup. However, Kevin Pilkington was drafted in and was excellent while Tyler was injured and Money obviously feels Pilks was a better bet.
Rossi Jarvis: His time at Luton was fairly nondescript and like Dean Morgan he seemed to flatter to deceive, looking like he was turning into a decent player one game only to go missing in his next three. Money had a good look at him and felt he was not the type of player for a scrap, which this League certainly is!
Asa Hall: Another player who has had mixed fortunes at Kenilworth Road. Always a candidate for a goal, strangely more often when Kevin Nicholls was alongside him, but, as with Rossi Jarvis, a bit lightweight when in a physical match. Similarly, Money didn`t rate him for this type of League.
Steve Basham: Seemed a panic signing when Mick Harford brought him in and always a squad player who never really had a chance to show what he could do. He only started one cup game and scored twice in it, and had 5 substitute appearances, so I can`t imagine why he was brought in at all. He did OK for Hayes & Yeading on loan scoring 8 times in 13 games, so perhaps he might have been useful for us in this League. I think we now have better strikers, so it was not a surprise when he went.
Ryan Charles: Lived and breathed Luton but a long term injury put paid to his season and a promising youngster departs due to lack of budget to keep him more than anything else. To be fair by this stage in his career he should have been a bit more advanced than he is.
George Beavan: The only real surprise to me of the bunch who have been let go. He looked to have a good career ahead of him when he was forced into the League Two side due to injuries, but again Money sees them in training and let him out on loan and felt he was a bit of a luxury in our situation.
Loan players not signed or renewed:
Liam Hatch: was supposed to be the Messiah when he signed and was brought in on a season long loan with a view to buying him at the end of this season. An appalling run of injuries kept his activities in the team down to 10 League games and 11 as a sub and 4 cup matches, but some of those were pushing him too quickly after injury. He got more cards than goals - six yellows and 1 red against 4 goals, so he was not the Messiah but he was a very naughty boy! :-) On our budget we cannot afford any more sick notes and it was a sound decision to let him go.
Mark Nwokeji: Taken on loan from Dagenham and Redbridge, and when he got a chance as a substitute he showed a lot of speed and looked to have been a promising player, but another who Richard Money didn`t fancy for some reason, and he would know from seeing him week in, week out, in training.
Craig Nelthorpe: Didn`t really look better than what we already have in Jake Howells and Lewis Emanuel, so no surprise again.
Gavin Caines: Who? Never saw him so can`t judge him!
Players on renewed contracts:
George Pilkington: Both key players and I`m glad they are tied up for the season.
Kevin Pilkington: Quality keeper meaning we have the two best keepers in this league.
Dan Gleeson: Excellent right back and one of the best in the BSP - Another quality addition.
Danny Crow: Has been there and done it in this League and the League above and knows where the net is. Will fit in nicely with our strong strikeforce.
Andy Drury: Another great coup. I can`t imaging why he would win promotion to the League and then refuse to stay with the club, especially as Stevenage had a bigger budget than us last year and will have this season, too. He was one of their stand-out players and will be a good solid player for us on the wing or in central midfield. Probably bought as a right winger, with Adam Newton so hit and miss last year.
Yet to commit:
Simon Heslop: Both key figured in the long winning sequence and ideally we need to sign them both. Money is making the right noises about their negotiations but how much is true and how much is rhetoric and attempted blackmail in trying to woo them it`s hard to tell! Fingers crossed we can keep both!
So that`s shaping up quite nicely so far. There may be a couple of additions before pre-season training starts, and if that happens perhaps one or two more may leave the nest.
All in all, I think it is looking good and, if anything, we are looking stronger than last season and if Kevin Nicholls can return to fitness after a major knee operation and regain anything like his best form, we should be taking on the top places again, but this time go one better.
Having been so gutted with the play-off debacle, I just wanted to bury my head in the sand, but I`m just starting to get warmed up again, with the World Cup looming followed by the pre-season, I can`t wait.
Once a Hatter - always a Hatter, eh?
Date:Wednesday June 2 2010
Ex-Luton Manager Lands Top Job (Monday June 17 2013)
Just Plain Bored! (Sunday June 16 2013)
Just a Reminder (Sunday June 16 2013)
Four Thousand! (Thursday June 13 2013)
Spiller`s Future? (Wednesday June 12 2013)
Disappointed or Expected? (Tuesday June 11 2013)
Martin Signs New Deal (Tuesday June 11 2013)
Harford Axed By MK Dons (Monday June 10 2013)
Patience is the Order of the Day! (Thursday June 6 2013)
Here`s to You Mr Robinson…… (Thursday June 6 2013)
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