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Joe Jones
It’s hard work being a Notts County fan. This isn’t just an opinion – a poll back in 2007 officially crowned the Magpies as the most stressful club to support in the Football League. Financial troubles, relegation battles, backroom changes – and this is just the last few years.
Thank goodness, then, for the calming influence of Colin Slater. The Notts County correspondent for BBC Radio Nottingham has commentated on Magpies games for the past half-century, his dulcet tones interwoven within the very fabric of the club.
What few people know, however, is that The Voice of Notts County could have so easily become The Voice of Bradford City. Colin was born and raised in Shipley, West Yorkshire, and the Bantams were the first football club he followed.
“I was first taken to football aged nine by my dad and I can remember the game against Barnsley at Valley Parade,” he says, sipping a mug of coffee on a warm spring’s day in West Bridgford’s Café Nero.
The young Colin knew from an early age that he wanted to be a journalist, recalling a civic occasion in Shipley’s town square where he noticed the local press reporting on the event from a vantage point.
He proclaims with pride: “That set me thinking that, if journalists get such a good view, that’s what I want to do because that’s where I want to be!”
Colin carried this ambition with him throughout his formative years, getting a job at the Shipley Guardian after finishing his secondary education at Belle Vue Grammar School – which also taught literary genius John Boynton “JB” Priestley – and, within a few years, becoming the newspaper’s editor.
So, how did he find himself in Nottingham, a city with which he had no prior connection? The answer is as honest as it is pragmatic. “I stayed at the Shipley Guardian for nine years, which was perhaps too long. I wanted a change, and the best offer I got was in Nottingham.”
His role at the now-defunct Nottingham Evening News was twofold – he would be the newspaper’s local affairs correspondent as well as being responsible for Notts County coverage. But his lack of familiarity with the Magpies led to him needing a crash course prior to starting work.
“I had just three weeks between moving to Nottingham and getting to know Notts County’s players, officials, and directors before covering my first game!”
After cutting his teeth for nine years covering the Magpies in print format, Colin moved to BBC Radio Nottingham to provide live audio commentary for his newly adopted team, and the rest, as they say, is history.
One of the most notable things about Colin’s presence on the radio is just how well spoken he is. The word “gentlemanly” springs to mind. Bafflingly, some people have accused him of being “posh” and “privileged” – and this accusation angers him no end, especially because it brings back tragic memories.
Colin explains: “I started my working life on 30 shillings a week – £1.50 in today’s currency. So I get a bit riled when anyone thinks I must have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I wasn’t, because my dad, who was a great hero figure to me, died when I was 14, so I know what it’s like to lose my father at a young age and start work fresh out of school for little money. Hardly a gilded sort of life, was it?”
The veteran broadcaster also opens up about Jimmy Sirrell, undoubtedly the greatest Magpies manager of all time, and reminisces about an encounter he had with him following their 2-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in May 1981 – a result which saw Notts promoted to the old First Division.
“I went into the players’ dressing room to have a glass of champagne, and Jack Dunnett, the chairman, came in and invited me up to the boardroom. Jimmy eventually came in and asked if my friend – who drove us down to the game – and I were stopping on the way back. I said yes, then asked him if he was going to stop anywhere.”
Colin laughs, then adopts a Scottish brogue: “His reply was, “Aye! We’re going to stop at the first shop I see which is open, I’m going to get the biggest tin of glue that they sell, and I’m going to keep the players’ feet on the ground!”
As heart-warming as those memories are, there is also an element of melancholy and sadness attached, as virtually no fan under the age of 30 is likely to remember these long-forgotten halcyon days. The Magpies were relegated from the top flight in 1992 and it’s been nothing but slim pickings since, with little more than a half-decent cup run now and then and a fourth tier championship to make up for perpetual strife, anxiety and relegation battles in the lower reaches of the Football League.
And Colin believes the fans should not put up with it any longer: “The ground they have, the tradition they have, the great players they’ve had down the years, all demands that Notts should be in the Championship, and it’s against that yardstick that they will be judged, whoever the manager is and whoever comprises the board of directors. It has to be their target to get back there…” and he makes a point of enunciating each and every letter, “ASAP!”
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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan has praised Notts County trialist Liam Walker and admits that he and his coaches will have discussions over the next few days over potentially offering the midfielder a contract.
The 29-year-old, a Gibraltar international, represented Europa FC in his home nation and scored 15 goals in 26 appearances for them last season.
In addition, Walker has played for Lincoln Red Imps and was part of the team that claimed a shock 1-0 win over Celtic in July 2016, and has also represented Portsmouth.
Walker played in Wednesday’s defeat to Nottingham Forest and figured again in the 2-1 loss to Wigan Athletic on Saturday, and Nolan had kind words to say about him.
“Liam did well again and we will have a chat with him over the next 24-48 hours,” he is quoted as saying by the Nottingham Post.
“We will see where his head is at and see if something can be done. It’s another midfielder who can come in and push the lads who were here already.
“I will talk to Thommo (Richard Thomas, assistant manager) and Norm (Mark Crossley, coach) as we’ve all been impressed with what we’ve seen. Then we will speak to Liam and his dad who has been over with him.”
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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan believes his Notts County side "more than matched" Wigan Athletic, but admits work needs to be done regarding the Magpies' defending.
Saturday's pre-season friendly at Meadow Lane saw Lewis Alessandra give Notts the lead in emphatic fashion, but a Richard Duffy own goal and a Callum Lang strike gave the Latics the win.
Nolan told the official site: "Throughout the 90 minutes we more than matched them and made a lot of chances.
"But the manner in which we gave away the goals was frustrating and the lads know that.
"We are still two weeks away [from the start of the season] and there is a lot of work to do on the training pitch.
"We have to keep reminding the players of what we have to do to be successful but there were a lot of positives to take away from the game against a good Wigan side who got more than they probably deserved today.
"We have got quality in the final third and I have told the players they have to believe in themselves more.
"They can all get better individually and collectively - and the signings we have brought in have taken us up another notch - but we will be a real handful once it all starts clicking into place."
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
Joe Jones
Since its launch two weeks ago, the Pride of Nottingham Donation Drive has received a tremendous response so far, and continues to gather pace as the new season edges ever closer.
Now into our fifth campaign covering Notts County, PON has sought to provide fans with news, features, trivia, media and match updates, with the premise of being entertaining, informative, honest and unbiased.
Since our creation in 2013, we have been there through the rough and the smooth, and as staunch Notts fans ourselves, we have shared the joy, the pain, the sadness, the anger, the confusion, the euphoria and every other single emotion which is part and parcel of supporting our beloved club.
And year on year, PON has grown to the point that it can legitimately lay claim to be the number one Notts fansite on the internet, and this could not have been done without each and every one of you who interact and engage with us on the site, on social media and at the games.
Now heading into the 2017/18 season, there is much cause for optimism at Meadow Lane, with the club under new ownership, a manager at the helm who is truly committed to the cause, and the atmosphere much more jovial among the fanbase.
There is to be no resting on laurels, however, for the club and for ourselves. We want to provide even more Notts content, even more regularly, and even better quality, and for us to break through the glass ceiling and go to the next level, the PON Donation Drive is to help us to do this.
The number of Notts fans that have donated to the cause is now in double figures, and for that we thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.
Some fans have even given us some incredibly kind words, which in turn makes us lost for words - being part of PON is already so satisfactory as it is, but to know that fans genuinely enjoy our work and tell us so, it makes it even more worthwhile.
Gordon Robertson, a fan who has very kindly donated, said this about PON: " I've been following for about 2 years. I found out about it on Facebook. I think it's really good because it's more fan orientated and i think it's an asset to the club. I donated because i believe in what you're doing and it should be supported and encouraged by both the fans and the club. Keep up the good work!"
Meanwhile, Ben Dooley said: "PON is a good site ran for the fans by the fans, there is a good community feel about it where you can have a laugh without any "bollocks". None of us are millionaires, so donating whatever I could felt like a no-brainer."
We are so thankful to each and every one of you who follows and engages with PON, and as always, we are eager to keep our content completely free for everyone to enjoy. If you fancy chipping in for the cause, then you would be helping our cause even more!
Thank you once again for your support, and here's to a good 2017/18 season!
COME ON YOU PIES!!
To contribute towards the Pride of Nottingham Donation Drive, click here to take you to the donation page.
Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan has hailed each and every one of his players in the Notts County dressing room, saying they have been "absolutely fantastic since day one" of pre-season.
The Magpies gaffer has overseen three pre-season games so far, with routine wins over Rolls Royce Leisure and Basford United followed up by a defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Now preparing for his penultimate friendly of the 2017/18 programme, at home against Wigan Athletic this weekend, he aims to iron out the flaws in his side's game from the Reds clash.
"They will be on the up there with Paul [Cook] and Leam [Richardson] going in," Nolan told the official Notts side. "It's another game we're looking forward to.
"It will be a test for our lads to see where we are at not just in terms of quality - I feel we can handle that - but mentally too. I feel we got a little carried away with the occasion in the first 20-25 minutes of the Nottingham Forest game.
"It's important to start as we mean to go on. Here [Meadow Lane] is our fortress and we have to make sure the opposition come and play to our tempo and what we want to do. We got it right in a lot of aspects against Forest but there is still a lot to work on.
"We will try to get as many minutes into as many people as possible before we move on to the York friendly. We have two games and they are both decent contests. We have to make sure the players are all ready to go for 5 August against Coventry.
"I cannot knock one person in the dressing room. They have been absolutely fantastic since day one. Their attitude and application towards everything we have thrown at them has been first class and that is how I want it to stay."
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
Joe Jones
Jorge Grant has revealed that he turned down offers from the Scottish Premiership and from League One to link up again with Notts County.
The 22-year-old was a revelation at Meadow Lane last season after joining on loan from Nottingham Forest, quickly becoming a fan favourite and helping the Magpies survive relegation.
He told the official Notts website: "I'm absolutely buzzing. As soon as I knew I was going out on loan, the only place I was going to go was here.
"I had a few offers from the SPL and League One, but this is the place I want to play football.
"The club is on the up and I really loved the three or four months I was here.
"The manager gives you an amazing amount of confidence. He was really good with me, giving me little pointers which helped me a lot last season."
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
Chris
The first home game for Notts County of the 2017/18 programme was a pre-season friendly against city rivals and cross-river neighbours Nottingham Forest.
As all Trentside derbies go, it was a lively, hotly contested occasion, both on the pitch and in the stands among the two sets of supporters.
Ultimately the Championship (just about) side got the win, with Ben Brereton and Apostolios Velios grabbing the goals in the second half for Mark Warburton's Reds.
Despite the result not being ideal for the Black and White Army, the performance will have given Kevin Nolan plenty of food for thought as he prepares his charges for the upcoming campaign.
Pride of Nottingham was at Meadow Lane to watch the game and to take photos of fans in the stands and elsewhere in the ground.
Did you spot our photographer? Want to see if you've made it in our album? In that case, check out this game's Faces of PON!

Share your thoughts about this Faces of PON edition on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
Joe Jones
Notts County have announced the return of Nottingham Forest midfielder Jorge Grant to Meadow Lane on a season-long loan.
The 22-year-old joined the Magpies on loan from across the Trent in January last year, with Kevin Nolan's side struggling near League Two's bottom two.
Grant made 17 appearances and scored six goals to give Notts a huge shot in the arm and ended up surviving in the Football League with several games to spare.
As a reward, he was offered a new three-year contract at the City Ground, which he signed, but it was confirmed today that he will be playing in black and white once again for the duration of the 2017/18 campaign.
Nolan told the official Notts website: "I'm absolutely delighted to get Jorge back and I'm really looking forward to spending another season with him. He got into the fans' hearts and he's a great kid to have around the club.
"He was adamant he wanted to come back here, which is what we want, and it just proves what we're doing here is right. If we can sign the likes of Jorge's calibre and character, we can keep moving this club forward.
"He's biting at the bit to get out there and strut his stuff again."
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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Joe Jones
Notts County owner Alan Hardy has completed his takeover of Ilkeston FC and has reverted the club's name back to Ilkeston Town FC.
Ilkeston have been bought out for an undisclosed fee from the club's liquidators, the deal being struck to secure the future of the club after it was wound up in the High Court last month.
In a statement on the Notts website, Hardy wrote: “I am absolutely thrilled to have completed my purchase of Ilkeston FC and can confirm that the club’s name will revert to Ilkeston Town Football Club with immediate effect.
“It is with great excitement that I also announce Steve Chettle as the club’s new manager following his departure from National League North side Nuneaton Town, where he was assistant manager.
“Steve is an Ilkeston and Nottingham Forest legend who I’m sure will prove to be an exciting appointment for supporters.
“He will be assisted by Ian Deakin, who brings plenty of experience and local knowledge after managing Kimberley last season.
“Having grown up in neighbouring Eastwood, I simply couldn’t allow one of the East Midlands’ finest non-league clubs’ existence to cease when I knew there was a viable method for me to take it forward.
“I am grateful to the FA for giving us the opportunity to compete in the Midland Football League Division One this season and it’s now time to move on with making Ilkeston Town a success on and off the field following a very challenging period for the club.
“I also have a very clear message to the supporters of Notts County, and to football fans in general, who I am sure would like assurances over my commitment to the world’s oldest Football League club.
“Ilkeston Town will have its own corporate governance, with separate directors, financial structure and accountability.
“Naturally, as would be the case between any professional and semi-professional football clubs, there will be an opportunity for transactions when it comes to such things as the loaning of players, sharing of expertise and so on.
“However, it is essential that any dealings between the two clubs are carried out with the best interests of their respective stakeholders in mind.
“I am absolutely committed to making Ilkeston Town not only self-sustainable, but also competitive and ambitious in aiming to claim a place in the second tier of non-league football in the medium term.
“Until this particular opportunity arose it was never my intention to acquire another football club. There are very few, if any, other clubs I would rescue. As I touched on earlier, Ilkeston are a special case for me personally and, as was the case with Notts County, it would have genuinely hurt me to see them die.
“I vividly remember my seven-year-old self-standing behind the goal, bang in the centre, lapping up every minute of derbies between Ilkeston Town and Eastwood, as well as other local matches involving the likes of Long Eaton, Heanor Town, Belper, Kimberley and Arnold. They were all blood- stirring encounters and all those memories have enabled me to carry great enthusiasm into my career in football.
“I am now looking forward to working with the people of Ilkeston to develop a club they, and their town, deserve.”
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan has reassured Notts County fans by saying there will be more signings made over the coming week.
As of Thursday morning, only three signings had been made by the Magpies - Lewis Alessandra, Terry Hawkridge and Dan Jones.
Jorge Grant is said to be on his way back to Meadow Lane on loan after he was seen in the stands as Nottingham Forest beat Notts 2-0 at Meadow Lane.
The pre-season friendly performance and result were indicators that the Magpies need to strengthen in several areas, and the gaffer said there is a lot of business being carried out to ensure this is done.
“We are hopeful of adding a few names in the coming week,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post.
“We are trying to do a lot of business and get these lads over the line.
“It’s important we get them in and get them up to speed with the players who are already here. We still need a few players in.”
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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Joe Jones
Tonight sees Notts County face city rivals - and cross-river neighbours - Nottingham Forest for a pre-season friendly.
Non-competitive encounters between the two are a relatively regular occurrence, but league or cup clashes have been few and far between in recent years.
So what happened the last five times the two sides met in competitive action? Pride of Nottingham takes a look.
11 January 1992: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Notts County (Division One)
The last top-flight league encounter between the two sides, Notts were eager to make amends for the reverse fixture in August, in which the Reds put four past the Magpies at Meadow Lane.
Kingsley Black opened the scoring for Forest at the City Ground with a 20-yard rocket after just three minutes and Notts were under the cosh for the entirety of the first half, but the Reds' wastefulness was punished when Richard Dryden equalised in the 52nd minute.
Forest had 15 corners, 11 shots on target and 12 off target, but the game would end all square, with Steve Cherry due credit for an imperious goalkeeping display for the Magpies.
15 September 1993: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Notts County (Anglo-Italian Cup)
The Magpies enjoyed a sterling run to the final of the Anglo-Italian Cup, where they took on a Georghe Hagi-inspired Brescia at Wembley, but to qualify for the international stage, they had to get at least a draw in their game against their neighbours.
Gary Lund, who came on as a substitute in the 30th minute for Andy Legg at the City Ground, opened the scoring after just seven minutes on the pitch, and although Stan Collymore equalised for the Reds, the Magpies held out for the necessary draw.
After the game, then-manager Mick Walker said: "I'm told you don't make money from this competition and could end up with broken legs and being spat at - but we'll enjoy finding out!"
30 October 1993: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Notts County (First Division [second tier])
With both sides struggling towards the bottom of the second tier (Forest were 20th before the game; Notts were 18th), it was the Reds who got a much-needed three points when Stan Collymore, who had taken a knock to the head and did not want to come back on, netted the winner in the 74th minute after having been bandaged up.
12 February 1994: Notts County 2-1 Nottingham Forest (First Division [second tier])
The last league encounter between these two, all of 23 years ago now, finished as a Notts win, and it was done so in exhilarating fashion.
Gary McSwegan opened the scoring in the 55th minute after tricking his way past Steve Chettle, cutting inside Colin Cooper and slotting into the bottom corner.
With just six minutes to go, Forest pulled a goal back through David Phillips, but just over a minute later, a twice-taken free kick from Mark Draper fell kindly to Charlie Palmer, who nodded home to claim the win (and a Notts knighthood).
9 August 2011: Nottingham Forest 3-3 Notts County (4-3 on penalties) (League Cup)
After 17 years of no competitive football between the Nottingham neighbours, the League Cup kindly brought the two together in the first round, during a time when there was a chance the game could have not gone ahead due to the widespread looting and rioting taking place across the nation.
Those who went to the City Ground were treated to a thrilling game in which Mike Edwards put the Magpies ahead in the 16th minute but Lewis McGugan equalised on the half-hour mark and Robbie Findley slotted home just before the hour to give Forest the lead.
Craig Westcarr's equaliser in the 76th minute forced extra time, and Lee Hughes seemed to have sealed it for Notts with a 98th-minute strike, only for centre-back Wes Morgan to smash home with virtually the last kick of the game to force penalties.
Jonathan Greening hit the post with Forest's first penalty but Hamza Bencherif missed County's third spot-kick. George Boateng then missed his, leaving Hughes one kick away from derby immortality - unfortunately, he too fluffed his spot kick. Ultimately, Luke Chambers kept his head to put Forest ahead before Bishop's miss put an end to a thrilling contest.
Share your thoughts about this feature on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan has played down the importance of Wednesday's friendly between Notts County and city rivals Nottingham Forest, reiterating that it's all about players getting game time ahead of the new season.
Fans of both teams are eagerly awaiting the clash at Meadow Lane as a chance to renew rivalries and see which side will claim the bragging rights come the final whistle.
Nolan, however, is keeping an eye firmly on preparations for the 2017/18 campaign as a whole, and sees this game - the third of five pre-season friendlies - as just "another test" for his charges.
He told the official club website: "It's what we need. It's another test for our lads against good opposition which will which means we can start stepping the boys up and get them more minutes into their legs.
"We will start to give them more minutes in the next few games. We have other fixtures, which are classed as reserve games, which will allow us to ensure we can spread the minutes around and make sure all of the lads get the same amount of game time.
"It's about us making sure we build the players up to certain thresholds so we are ready to rumble come 5 August against Coventry.
"It's going to be a lovely occasion. We have a fantastic new pitch which Alan and the ground staff have sorted for us and worked tirelessly on. I have to say it looks absolutely magnificent.
"We are getting a lot of behind the scenes work done inside the stadium to take things up by another 10 notches to give us Premier League facilities which will be a big plus in making people want to come and be a part of it here."
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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Joe Jones
Kevin Nolan has earmarked Callum Saunders and Dean Hodge as two Notts Country trialists that he will take a closer look at in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Magpies defender Richard Duffy has had good words to say about Pierce Bird.
Speaking about Saunders and Hodge, Nolan told the Nottingham Post: "I've know Dean (Saunders) a while now and he's a good fella.
"Some of Callum's movement was really sharp in the game on Saturday. I thought he could have done better with his one on one, and I think he will be disappointed with himself too.
"Elliott did himself no harm at all either. We will have a closer look at them two in the coming week or so then we'll then take it from there."
Speaking about Bird, meanwhile, Duffy said: "Pierce has done really well. I was speaking to the gaffer and he told me what level he has come from.
"I was quite surprised because I hadn't realised the level of football he has been playing at.
"But to come in and settle like he has in a dressing room of big characters and big names is a credit to him.
"In the two games we've played he's done really well. But now we are playing against better class opposition we will see what he is made of."
Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
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ARLukomski
It's clear that Notts need signings. Even before we played our first two friendlies, against Rolls-Royce and Basford, it was very clear. In terms of transfer activity, our three signings so far puts us 20th in League Two in terms of how many players we've brought in.
At the current moment in time we can only just about fill a matchday squad. Improvements and a bit of squad depth is definitely needed. Every position, apart from left-back, needs either a new signing who is going to come into the starting XI or a new signing which will add depth.
Firstly let's start in goal. Adam Collin showed last season he can be prone to making more than one mistake in a game and many fans have wanted him replaced. Although he has his faults, it's hard to see Kevin Nolan dropping him from the first team. Joe Searson-Smithard is Notts through and through but at the moment I don't think he's ready for the first team, though it would be nice to see him become our No.1 in the near future.
A few goalkeepers have been on trial for the two friendlies as expected in pre season with Connor Brennan, Joe Cracknell and Ross Fitzsimons joining the team. Any of these three would be nice just as back-up.
Right-back was a bit of the problem until the other day when me and my brother realised Jordan Richards could be back-up to Matt Tootle. In my opinion, we should have kept Luther Wildin as back-up, so we didn't have to spend in that area. As we know Tootle picked up a few injuries last season but under the management of Kevin Nolan he has been solid. But if injuries start piling up, we need someone to fill the spot.
Well well well. The wonderful world of centre-backs. Everyone has split opinions on Richard Duffy and Haydn Hollis. If you watched my vlogs last season, you'll know I was very critical of Duffy during the awful run between November and early January. But under Nolan, he was transformed and had a solid partnership with Hollis and on occasions, Thierry Audel to see us comfortably to safety. Hollis has divided opinion ever since the Great Escape in 2014. Well, here he is, still with us after signing another new contract. This year he has to prove his future lies here. We have the manager, the owner, the facitlies and now is his time to prove the haters wrong and prove that he belongs in the Notts first team.
But sadly we're not all rosy in this part of the pitch. In my opinion a Duffy-Hollis partnership will not take us up. And at the minute they are our only two centrebacks at the club. Mike Edwards is back-up. He's our fitness coach. Edwards cannot be playing again next season if we want to win promotion. He's a nice guy but he shouldn't have to be called upon on the pitch. So one or two required in this area. Pierce Bird from Dunkirk (who I think we should sign) has been on trial and youth team player Peter Dearle has played in friendlies. At the start of the window, Notts approached Lincoln City captain Luke Waterfall but he rejected our terms and offered to sign a contract extension at Sincil Bank. A move for a defender recently collapsed so we are back to square one.
I would like to sign ex-Wycombe defender Aaron Pierre but after recently having a trial at Bristol City but not being offered a contract it's probable that he might end up in League One. Kevin Toner on loan from Aston Villa wouldn't be a bad transfer as he spent time on loan at a Bradford City side that reached the play-off final last season. James Wilson didn't start regurlarly for Sheffield United last season so he could be worth a look as well. This would make sense as the Blades recently bought Richard Stearman in from Wolves. Another centre-back I'd like is Dominic Ball from Rotherham whether on loan or permanent. He is also a player I said we should have got on loan in January. Tom Anderson on loan from Burnley would be another decent signing as he has had previous experience of lower league after two loan spells at Chesterfield and one at Carlisle.
Moving onto the wing and yes, whilst we have signed Lewis Alessandra and Terry Hawkridge, we are still a little short. And if injuries happen we need players to replace them. I would like to see Sam Osborne get more games this season but whether he's ready or not remains to be seen. Milan Lalkovic on loan from Portsmouth would not be a bad shout as he hasn't played regularly for last season's League Two champions. He scored 7 goals from the wing in a Walsall team that reached the play offs in League One in 2016. That was enough for Pompey to pay compensation for his services last summer. A winger from the Premier League or Championship on loan wouldn't go amiss, and as shown previously they can be a big threat at League Two level. Luke Gambin or Lawson D'Ath from Luton would be good signings for this level as well. Both signed in January and so far D'Ath has struggled to break into the Hatters first team.
Moving swiftly into centre midfield and the saga that Notts have only just seen the back of. Notts made four bids for Liam Noble and none were successful. The saga has consumed the Magpies' transfer window up until now and no matter how much Notts tried, Forest Green weren't going to budge. At the start, it was clear £100k was going to be enough, but only a few weeks and four bids later, FGR manager Mark Cooper told BBC Radio Gloucester that the former Notts midfielder was not for sale. Since we wanted him, I said I didn't want him back because of his previous disciplinary record, he's not worth £100k and there are better out there.
One player who is better and one that we should of got was Louis Reed, on loan from Sheffield United but recently signed for Chesterfield. Jermaine Anderson of Peterborough is another player I would aim for on loan but has injury problems in the last year or two. I would like to sign Connor Dimaio but I can't see him leaving Chesterfield. Other players we could look at in this area are Ryan Yates (Forest), Jordon Houghton (Doncaster), Giorgio Rasulo (MK Dons) and Ben Whitfield (Bournemouth).
Strikers are needed. I've constantly said on Twitter that strikers are a must. Stead and Ameobi are 34 and 35 respectively and whilst Stead scored 14 last season we need someone else and someone with pace. Notts had were linked with Matt Godden but that soon fizzled out. Football League World have said that we should get Toni Martinez on loan from West Ham. The Spaniard has already had one loan spell previously and that was at Oxford United last season. With a few West Ham fans wanting him to be given a chance, this would a fantastic signing for League Two level. Another Premier League player we should be interested in taking on loan is Callum Roberts from Newcastle. He has done really well in the youth team at Newcastle and had a short spell in the England Under 20 team.
Moving away from loanees and into permanent transfers. Oliver Hawkins is a player we really need to look at, he scored 18 goals in the National League last season for Dagenham and Redbridge. Portsmouth have already declared their interest but do not want to pay the money. Dagenham have said they want £250k for Hawkins but this price seems a bit much. Another striker who scored 18 in the National League last season is Danny Johnson from Gateshead. A delve into non-league for strikers would not be a bad decision at all.
Thank you to ARLukomski for the article. Please check out his YouTube channel by clicking here.
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Joe Jones
Richard Duffy has praised Basford United for giving Notts County a tough game in Saturday's pre-season friendly at Greenwich Avenue, but admits that the game was only really about getting match fit.
An own goal following a Dan Jones free kick and a strike from Alex Howes in the first half helped Kevin Nolan's side claim a 2-0 win over the Evo-Stik Division One South outfit.
The Magpies boss fielded a different team in each half, which saw trialists goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimmons, defender Pierce Bird and striker Callum Saunders all given a run-out.
"In the first half they had a couple of chances and I didn't see much of the second half, but it was just another 45 minutes under our belts to add to our fitness," Duffy told the Nottingham Post.
"It was a tougher game than the first friendly we had (against Rolls Royce). They are a decent outfit and they do alright in the league they play in.
"We always knew it was going to be tough. But you expect us to come out on top, and comfortably.
"We probably deserved a couple more goals but they could have scored too. So fair play to them. They gave us a good game but it was more to do with fitness than anything else."
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