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Thread: Notts County Squad 2018-19

  1. #1

    Notts County Squad 2018-19

    Too soon? Sorry Collin, Forte, Smith, Curtis et al. But I'm actually a bit excited about Nolan's cull and hopeful that he can use the money left over wisely to build a proper well-rounded squad to compete next season.

    So, assuming the players we’ve offered new contracts to re-sign here is the squad for next season and the gaps I’d like to see filling…

    GOALKEEPERS

    GK – Ross Fitzsimons
    GK - Branislav Pindroch
    GK – TBC

    Surprised to see Collin released, but will be happy to see his wage spent up front and Fitzsimons given a chance as number one.

    DEFENCE

    DR - Matt Tootle
    DR - TBC
    DL - Dan Jones
    DL - TBC
    DC - Shaun Brisley
    DC - Richard Duffy
    DC - Pierce Bird
    DC - TBC

    Youth: Harry Bugg and Declan Dunn are both defenders too, tho not sure where they play.

    Would love to see a pacey central defender join us and in terms of full-back cover I’d prefer to see a couple of young loanees along the lines of Bola from Arsenal, than old uns like Nicky Hunt.


    MIDFIELD

    MR - Terry Hawkridge
    MR – Lewis Alessandra
    ML – TBC
    ML – TBC
    CM - Elliott Hewitt
    CM - Noor Husin
    CM - Liam Noble
    CM - Michael O'Connor

    Youth: Alex Howes

    Apart from replacing Jorge Grant (the pre-Christmas version) we barely need to strengthen here tbh. And if we had more goals up front we'd have been less reliant on him anyhow.


    FORWARDS

    CF – TBC
    CF - Jon Stead
    CF – TBC
    CF – TBC

    Youth: Remaye Campbell and Sam Osborne

    Like many fans, I really hope we spend most of the money on new forwards as clearly that’s where we really need it. Ideally three new ones that are all better than Stead. Pace and power needed. And younger legs.

    COYP!

  2. #2
    Helpful summary, well done Dave.

    First impressions are that I would fill the third goalkeeping slot with a cheap youth teamer and give Ross Fitzsimons his chance as No.1, because he's at least par for this level and will no doubt develop more with first-team experience. Extra wages that could be spent on a high profile goalkeeper are probably better invested in the striking positions which will no doubt be the difference maker next season.

    Also, without any disrespect to Pierce Bird, because I've not seen him play, I would say that unless he's the next Dean Yates then we need two more big, strong, head it, kick it centre-halves if we're going to have real depth in that critical position. Duffy isn't the worst player I've ever seen by a long chalk, and some games he plays really well, but for me he lacks physical presence in this league and is too prone to error, so I don't regard him as anything better than cover (for centre-half or right-back).

  3. #3
    The goalkeeping position intrigues me. Do Fitzsimons and Pindroch move up a place and we look for a young third choice, or is Nolan looking for a new first choice keeper? I was a bit surprised Collin was shown the door, I marginally preferred him to Fitzsimons, and it appeared that Nolan thought the same way.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Pie View Post
    The goalkeeping position intrigues me. Do Fitzsimons and Pindroch move up a place and we look for a young third choice, or is Nolan looking for a new first choice keeper? I was a bit surprised Collin was shown the door, I marginally preferred him to Fitzsimons, and it appeared that Nolan thought the same way.
    Collin didn't exactly get on with a subsection of the fans going by Twitter. Perhaps Collin told Nolan he'd prefer to look elsewhere? I would imagine a new No. 1 should be sought but because of Fitzsimmons, it's not a big rush or priority

  5. #5
    I would still guess it's a financial call as much as anything. There certainly isn't a gulf in quality between Collin and Fitzsimons, whichever one you happen to rate the higher, and Ross will no doubt be considerably cheaper in terms of wage demands. So, if you can cope without Collin, it makes sense to divert those funds elsewhere. My only concern would be whether Pindroch is a good enough reserve, but judging by the new contract offer, Nolan obviously thinks he is.

  6. #6
    TO be honest the wings worry me a little. Hawkridge and to a lesser extent, Allesandro, are weak links and neither are first teasers imo.

    Fill the keeper slot with a young lad.
    Two new CBS as has been said. Hard, fast and composed. (Not Duffy!)
    Wingers. Massive weakness at the club.
    The obvious strikers.

  7. #7
    I would love to say with the players retained or in contract that we have the backbones to build a good team around but Iím not convinced thatís true !

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hissingdwarf View Post
    TO be honest the wings worry me a little. Hawkridge and to a lesser extent, Allesandro, are weak links and neither are first teasers imo.
    They might be first teasers, but maybe not first-teamers!

    Thing is, both have looked very good on certain days and anonymous on others, but that's been a familiar refrain about many wingers throughout the ages, hence why they're so often seen as luxury players.

    Certainly we need two more, to challenge and get the best out of Hawkridge and Alessandra if not to always play ahead of them.

    I'd also add that if Nolan has any ideas about swapping to a "front three" like he did without success at home to Exeter and Crawley, then those new wide players need to be legitimate, proven goal scorers and we probably need a Bogle or Akinde in the middle. Too many managers at this level try to replicate the 4-3-3 formations they see in the Premier League, forgetting that the likes of Manchester City and United have some of the most complete forward players anywhere in the world, with all three forwards having power, pace, superb skill and finishing ability. All their forwards are legitimate and regular goal threats.

    It shouldn't come as any surprise that if for Sane, Aguero and Sterling you read Hawkridge, Stead and Alessandra, none of whom are particularly regular goalscorers, you're not likely to score too often. That's why, at this level where you're lucky if a player can master one position let alone two or three, you're still probably better off with the old combo of two genuine wingers, a centre forward and a little poacher.
    Last edited by jackal2; 22-05-2018 at 09:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Whatever happens I hope we just sign quality in the right positions for the budget we have.

    Centre-back - Signing more than one is fine. But Duffy/ Brisley as a reserve will be a step-up. And there's no point keeping Bird on if he can't get near the squad.

    Wingers - Yes. This is the also one position we seem to do consistently well with on loan (Grant, Grealish, McGregor etc). I'd be okay starting next season with Allesandra and Hawkridge in direct competition for one position on RM. I know a lot of fans wouldn't agree, but they got double figures of goals between them last season and would have had more assists with better strikers.

    Strikers - Always the most expensive players. Always the hardest to get. We've been linked with so many (Hirst, Bogle, Rose, Toney etc). But we really do need to get at least two new ones in this summer. Stead should be our benchwarmer, not our main man.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSmithRules View Post
    Whatever happens I hope we just sign quality in the right positions for the budget we have.

    Centre-back - Signing more than one is fine. But Duffy/ Brisley as a reserve will be a step-up. And there's no point keeping Bird on if he can't get near the squad.

    Wingers - Yes. This is the also one position we seem to do consistently well with on loan (Grant, Grealish, McGregor etc). I'd be okay starting next season with Allesandra and Hawkridge in direct competition for one position on RM. I know a lot of fans wouldn't agree, but they got double figures of goals between them last season and would have had more assists with better strikers.

    Strikers - Always the most expensive players. Always the hardest to get. We've been linked with so many (Hirst, Bogle, Rose, Toney etc). But we really do need to get at least two new ones in this summer. Stead should be our benchwarmer, not our main man.
    I agree with most of that but fans brought up on Carter, Scanlon, Chiedozie, Dave Smith (if you say) and even Adrian Thorpe aren't going to be satisfied with Allesandra and Hawkridge, who barely reach the byline. We need an exciting winger, and Grant isn't it either.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohinen View Post
    I agree with most of that but fans brought up on Carter, Scanlon, Chiedozie, Dave Smith (if you say) and even Adrian Thorpe aren't going to be satisfied with Allesandra and Hawkridge, who barely reach the byline. We need an exciting winger, and Grant isn't it either.
    Dave Smith only played one season for us sadly, but he left some memories. He wasn't so much of a jinky winger type, he took the direct route. He reminded me of a clockwork toy, you would set him off sometimes even at the edge of your own penalty area and he would make a bee-line straight down the pitch, only vaguely slowing down when he got to the by-line! I remember the Sirrel Stand (home fans in those days) roaring as he whizzed past them, especially in that famous win against Sunderland to keep us up. And as for his penalty kicks, I've only seen Ray Stewart of West Ham hit them harder or better!

    One of my biggest regrets is that having only started going down the Lane in 1989, I missed ever seeing Adrian Thorpe in action. I know many thought we would have been dead cert champions ahead of Sunderland (as it happens!) in Barnwell's first year if Thorpe hadn't been crippled by Doug Rougvie in a game at Brighton.

  12. #12
    Happily I am old enough to have watched Adrian Thorpe. I was young, but he was brilliant!

    Dave Smith and that 5-1 Tranmere game: he was a hero! The fact he ended his career with injury that season is tragic. And why his name must live on here forever with my ramblings.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSmithRules View Post
    Happily I am old enough to have watched Adrian Thorpe. I was young, but he was brilliant!

    Dave Smith and that 5-1 Tranmere game: he was a hero! The fact he ended his career with injury that season is tragic. And why his name must live on here forever with my ramblings.
    I've still got the video of that game somewhere. Smithy hit a penalty in that game that almost broke the net!

    Another one featuring that night was Rob Matthews, who also looked a star in the making before he got an injury and never really fulfilled his potential.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohinen View Post
    I agree with most of that but fans brought up on Carter, Scanlon, Chiedozie, Dave Smith (if you say) and even Adrian Thorpe aren't going to be satisfied with Allesandra and Hawkridge, who barely reach the byline. We need an exciting winger, and Grant isn't it either.
    You are quite right, we have had some good proper wingers in the past. What we had this season was right sided or left sided midfielders who couldn't beat a traffic cone and I include Grant in that. He would make a better number 10 just behind the front 2.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveSmithRules View Post
    Too soon? Sorry Collin, Forte, Smith, Curtis et al. But I'm actually a bit excited about Nolan's cull and hopeful that he can use the money left over wisely to build a proper well-rounded squad to compete next season.

    So, assuming the players weíve offered new contracts to re-sign here is the squad for next season and the gaps Iíd like to see fillingÖ

    GOALKEEPERS

    GK Ė Ross Fitzsimons
    GK - Branislav Pindroch
    GK Ė TBC

    Surprised to see Collin released, but will be happy to see his wage spent up front and Fitzsimons given a chance as number one.

    DEFENCE

    DR - Matt Tootle
    DR - TBC
    DL - Dan Jones
    DL - TBC
    DC - Shaun Brisley
    DC - Richard Duffy
    DC - Pierce Bird
    DC - TBC

    Youth: Harry Bugg and Declan Dunn are both defenders too, tho not sure where they play.

    Would love to see a pacey central defender join us and in terms of full-back cover Iíd prefer to see a couple of young loanees along the lines of Bola from Arsenal, than old uns like Nicky Hunt.


    MIDFIELD

    MR - Terry Hawkridge
    MR Ė Lewis Alessandra
    ML Ė TBC
    ML Ė TBC
    CM - Elliott Hewitt
    CM - Noor Husin
    CM - Liam Noble
    CM - Michael O'Connor

    Youth: Alex Howes

    Apart from replacing Jorge Grant (the pre-Christmas version) we barely need to strengthen here tbh. And if we had more goals up front we'd have been less reliant on him anyhow.


    FORWARDS

    CF Ė TBC
    CF - Jon Stead
    CF Ė TBC
    CF Ė TBC

    Youth: Remaye Campbell and Sam Osborne

    Like many fans, I really hope we spend most of the money on new forwards as clearly thatís where we really need it. Ideally three new ones that are all better than Stead. Pace and power needed. And younger legs.

    COYP!
    Good work. Well done. Letís keep this thread updated as players sign.

    As Iíve said on another thread if Jon Stead is here then he will be the ultimate professional and bring lots of experience for whoever comes in. He got 13 goals this season which is good, so I would hope that with his age as well we donít need to rely on him and he can be an impact player or play for an hour and not have to play two games a week.

    Iím also pleased Matt Tootle has signed. I think heís derserved his two year contract. Heís also a bit of a character so will be good to have in the dressing room. Heís made the right back slot his own.

    It will be interesting to see how OíConnor and Hewitt work in midfield. If OíConnor can be next seasons Ryan Yates this can only be beneficial. Plus there are options with Hussin and Noble as well to mix things up.

    If only Ameobi had been two or three years younger it would have been great to see him play some more for us. He still had his premiership quality and skill. But we canít rely on two forwards with a combined age of 70+

    The challenge now is to bring in better players than the ones that were released.

  16. #16
    Grant, Forte and Ameobi scored just under thirty goals between them last seaon, Stead scored nine, and will likely score less next season.
    Goals from all over the pitch got us into a great position first half of the season but dried up second half to a degree.
    We absolutely have to find a combination of players who can add forty goals if we are aiming for the automatics next season based on goals scored by the top three this season.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD_MAGPIE View Post
    Good work. Well done. Letís keep this thread updated as players sign.

    As Iíve said on another thread if Jon Stead is here then he will be the ultimate professional and bring lots of experience for whoever comes in. He got 13 goals this season which is good, so I would hope that with his age as well we donít need to rely on him and he can be an impact player or play for an hour and not have to play two games a week.

    Iím also pleased Matt Tootle has signed. I think heís derserved his two year contract. Heís also a bit of a character so will be good to have in the dressing room. Heís made the right back slot his own.

    It will be interesting to see how OíConnor and Hewitt work in midfield. If OíConnor can be next seasons Ryan Yates this can only be beneficial. Plus there are options with Hussin and Noble as well to mix things up.

    If only Ameobi had been two or three years younger it would have been great to see him play some more for us. He still had his premiership quality and skill. But we canít rely on two forwards with a combined age of 70+

    The challenge now is to bring in better players than the ones that were released.
    The wings are weak the defence is average at best the keeper is unsure the midfield has no consistent play maker and the forward line is none existent. There is a fair bit of work to be done to craft a squad that will challenge for promotion next season but there must be a budget to. The forward line is the biggest worry as Notts consistently fail to sign decent forwards and we are absolutely threadbare. If I was Nolan I would not have released Forte but offered him a 1 year deal I think inconsistent as he may be we need something there so we don't look as desperate when we negotiate for new ones.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by optipez View Post
    Grant, Forte and Ameobi scored just under thirty goals between them last seaon, Stead scored nine, and will likely score less next season.
    Goals from all over the pitch got us into a great position first half of the season but dried up second half to a degree.
    We absolutely have to find a combination of players who can add forty goals if we are aiming for the automatics next season based on goals scored by the top three this season.
    Most successful teams do have goals from all over the pitch, and we did remarkably well in that regard last season. However, it did cover up the very poor return of our strikers, and it's one of the reasons why I think the appearances-based extension clause in Stead's contract was a mistake. If it had been a 15 or 20 league goal target for an extension, that would have made more sense. As it is, we've kept hold of a player in clear and obvious decline, albeit never lacking in effort.

    In my opinion we need a quality centre-forward of the Bogle ilk and two pacey support/poacher types with real finishing ability if we are going to build on the strengths of the current squad and push for the title next time. I don't care if they come from the leagues above or below us, or from other league Two teams, that's the scouting team's job to get right. But we need the sort of goal power which will nick us games when other parts of the team aren't playing or scoring so well.
    Last edited by jackal2; 22-05-2018 at 10:50 PM.

  19. #19
    Fill the 3rd choice keeper with either the youth team one or another prospect. Fitzsimmons is more than capable at this level, if he didn't get sent off he'd probably have finished the season as first choice. Pindroch can be first choice for the development squad and cup games to keep him match fit and just sit on the bench for league games.

    Defence wise, we definitely need another CB in to challenge Brisley/Duffy, would even go for 2 if it looks like Bird will only play in the DL. We need cover for both full back positions.

    Midfield, of Allessandra and Hawkridge, only Allessandra will fight for a starting spot next season. I really don't see Hawkridge stepping up. We really need 2 first choice wingers and another one fighting for a spot. I'd love if we got 2 in similar to the Coventry wingers. CM... if we kept Milsom I'd have kept it as it is but Noble has had about 1 good game since he came back and Husin is known to go missing, I really feel we need to get another in to fight with Hewitt and O'Connor.

    Strikers, explains itself. Stead should be backup and we should be bringing in a target man who actually makes a nuisance up top and a nippy guy to work off him who is basically similar to Forte but an upgrade. A younger stead would provide good backup as the 3rd addition.

    Next season I'd like to see the youngsters given more of a chance, at least on the bench. Let's see what they're about, there's only 1 way to see if they'll make the grade and we won't get a true sense of that through the development league and the tin pot cup.

  20. #20
    Real shame about Collin, thought he was a good keeper for this level. Hope it's not true about fans giving him abuse on twitter.

    Good luck wherever you go Adam.

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