Cohen Griffiths from Kettering
The signing of Meite set me thinking about past non-league signings. It was something we did quite often and with some success in the 60's and70's. For example Peter King, Gary Bell, George Andrews, Gary Stevens, Jim Eadie and Bill Irwin all came from outside the Football League. There are two others I vaguely remember from slightly later in the Century. A tall skinny Irishman called John something who played with a lot of promise for us up front and in midfield, was stupidly given a free transfer and went on to have an excellent career as a centre half with Rangers and (Nothern?) Ireland. Also an extremely quick striker who played successfully alongside Jimmy Gilligan. A black lad whose surname began with B I think.Anybody remember those two better than I do or others I have no doubt completely forgotten?
With the exception of Ralls, I don't recall any successful non- league signings in recent years. Is that beacause it's more difficult make the jump now or because our scouting system is rubbish? I suspect it's the latter.
Cohen Griffiths from Kettering
Kevin Bartlett is the one you are thinking of
We're far better at turning good footballers into non-league players.
Not ours but people must forget how rapidly chris smalling rose.
I don't blame the club really about McLelland because he went from a long string of nothing to a really solid citizen during the years he spent at Bangor City I think it was - he looked a natural centreback then and did well in the old First Division with Watford as well as his spell with Rangers, but I'm sure we would have tried him as a centre half if he'd filled out a year or two before he did.
What an interesting debate!
Personally I think the days of uncovering a previously undiscovered "diamond" are sadly gone.
Why? Partly scouting, partly that anyone decent gets snapped up but mainly I think clubs want instant success and don't have the patience to take a punt on a player and develop him. Bizarrely of course, City seem to snap up experienced players who turn out to be shite, so personally I'd rather do that with a player who didn't cost a fortune.
Another thing about "modern football" that moves it further away from the common man.
It was interesting reading that thread yesterday about the old photos, with players having the FA cup in one hand and a beer and a fag in the other. Different times!
Things have reversed now. Instead of big clubs finding gems in non league, non league finds gems at big clubs.
Most young talent will go to academies nowadays. As they get released, clubs lower down get the chance to sign them. Quite sad but that's the way it goes.
Even Vardy, the obvious example, was at Wednesday as a kid - he might even have been there when they were Premier league.
Ray Bishop also came from non league too. He cost £1000 from Cheltenham and did a good job.
Mark Delaney was a decent buy.
Banana sssandwichesss - What a load of bollocksss!
Mark Delaney, yes indeed, Villa paid £319k for him
Wasn't Dai Thomas plucked from non-league somewhere?
Chris Pike was another who, I think, played for Park Lawn in the Combination league
Paul Parry came to us from Hereford when they were in the Conference and didn't John Lewis come from one of the Welsh League sides?
Doesn't involve City, but this is a nice story
Charlie Oatway wasn't a bad signing from non league.
Where did Derek Showers sign from,and why haven't we got a room at the stadium named after him , or do we ?
I think the problem now is that people want an off the shelf top rate player. the idea of actually coaching and improving players is completely foreign to most fans, and managers. Its for this reason that so many players go on to better things after leaving us. We sign a player and he's instantly labelled as rubbish or not up to it, booted out to the reserves and left to rot.
been looking through this... make painful reading .http://www.soccerbase.com/teams/team...Tabs=transfers