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18Port Vale6-67
19Newport County6-36
20Cambridge Utd6-86

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The Ins and Outs!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 23/05/2001

As Kingsley Black leaves Blundell Park on a two-year contract with Lincoln City, joining his old boss Alan Buckley, Grimsby Town signed 6 of the 8 new young players coming into the club as reported previously. Reserve coach Paul Wilkinson was reported to have told them "it's time to become men".

The two remaining youngsters from Feyenoord Ronald Ermes and Robbie Bruscher - will sign their contracts in Holland over the next few days.

All eyes will be on Liverpool striker Chris Thompson who finished as top scorer for Liverpool reserves last season. Because he is a striker, he has signed a two-year deal with the Mariners and Paul Wilkinson told the Grimsby Telegraph "It could easily have been all of them on a year's contract. But he's a goalscorer and in this day and age that makes a difference. Only time will tell if it's a scoop. He's proved that he can do it and he came here and scored a couple of goals."

"He's not the finished article but training with the first team lads will help and he'll have to raise his standards every time he plays. That goes for all of them."

"It will be a good test for him and the other lads. From Academy to Reserve football is a big step and they're going to have to grow from lads to men very quickly."

"It's an exciting prospect and it's good for the club. We've given the lads a chance and now it's up them, we shall push them and prod them in the right direction as much as we can."

"The most important thing is that it gives us strength in depth in the 18-21 age group. That age range was missing."

"You would hope that next year's second year YTs will be progressing and they'll see that the lads in front of them are going to be strong and pushing for the first team squad. That should help them and encourage them."

Kingsley Black who was offered a one-year contract decided that it was time to move on and no doubt will be a regular at Sincil Bank. Town fans will be sad to see him go but he has not figured in the first team and manager Lawrence could not promise him a position next season although he was keen to see him stay and work with some of the youngsters in the Reserves.

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Lennie Lawrence is still holding out hope that Peter Handyside will stay at Blundell Park. "I'm still waiting to hear from him after discussing a new deal with him." Lennie did not mention if that was still the original deal or a new offer.

On other players Lennis said, "I've been speaking with both Stacy Coldicott and Wayne Burnett and have Danny Butterfield's agent to see later this week."

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