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Getting The Crystal Ball Out

By: Tony Hamilton
Date: 29/06/2003

AFTER Paul Groves reported to the media that an experienced First Division midfielder will start pre-season training on Monday with the playing squad of 2003/04, I got my crystal ball out and trawled thought the PFA list of all available midfield players.

I looked who either plays or has played in the First Division, and came up with some well known names off their register.

There are a few outsiders like Craig Burley (ex-Derby), Jordao (ex-WBA) and Phil O’Donnell plus Simon Donnelly (both ex-Sheff Wed). They would be the expensive ones of the bunch out of the 18 I picked out using Paul Groves' description of the new player.

The total outsiders of the bunch are Bjane Goldbaek (ex-Fulham) and Martin Reuser (ex-Ipswich) that have had the taste of the Premiership and would probably want more wages than Town could afford.

Now we are getting to the ones who realistically could fit Groves’s description. Here’s a list of the ones that are left with a rating out of 5 on the chances of Town signing them

Tony Rougier Tony Rougier (Ex-Reading) Getting on a bit and would be looking for a last wage packet

Rating 2/5

Fitzroy Simpson Fitzroy Simpson (Ex-Walsall) Another old timer that might be what Town are looking for, if they want experience not youth in the midfield

Rating 2/5

Ian Selley Ian Selley (Ex-Wimbledon) Spent all his time in the South and I wonder if he would move up North

Rating 3/5

Lee Briscoe Lee Briscoe (Ex-Burnley) Has a few other clubs wanting his services and I wonder if he could be enticed to come to Town

Rating 2/5

Martin O’Connor Martin O’Connor (Ex-Walsall) To me he would be my favourite, as when at Birmingham earlier in his career he always showed what a good midfielder he was

Rating 4/5

Mitch Ward Mitch Ward (Ex-Barnsley) I've only put him in as last season we bought two players from Oakwell and would be shell shocked if we signed him

Rating 1/5

Nick Summerbee Nick Summerbee (Ex-Leicester) When we went to the Foxes had to play for nothing because of their finances and he played a part in their Premiership promotion squad

Rating 3/5

Sammy Igoe Sammy Igoe (Ex-Reading) Played a bit part in the Royals play-off achieving squad and could be another name on the wish list of Groves

Rating 3/5

Tony Rougier Simon Osborne (Ex-Gillingham) Played over 350 games in his career and has age against him for signing for Town

Rating 2/5

Simon Rodger Simon Rodger (Ex-Brighton) No relation to the Town’s assistant boss but played in most of Brighton’s games last season

Rating 3/5

All of these are officially available on free transfers as listed by the PFA, so hopefully the one(s) we sign soon are one of these players. On Monday we will know the identity of one of the midfield players Grimsby Town are going to sign

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