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  1. For any football fan who's seen their team get relegated, one positive once you've got over the initial shock is to think about all the new grounds you can visit. And with Notts having previously never dropped down to non-league in their 157-year history, all these non-league grounds seemed like an exotic novelty to a Notts fan who travels home and away each week. So having completed half a season in the non-league wilderness, let's take a look back on the highs and lows of a non league away day. Best away days: Without question, I would have to list my favourite away ground that I've visited this season as Aldershot. Why did I like Aldershot's ground? Because it was the right mix of being an old school terrace, as well as a ground with a good atmosphere between home and away fans, which hasn't always been the case at the majority of non league grounds. Another terrace which I thoroughly enjoyed was Halifax, a large, retro terrace for away fans and an experience helped by the fact that Notts actually won! However, in terms of both the result and away day experience, then the best away trip this season would have to be the 4-0 win at Woking. From the slightly surreal yet friendly experience of drinking in the snooker club that was the only pub anywhere near the ground, to the cracking on the field performance from Notts, it was definitely the most memorable away trip of the season. Chants about "Our Danish chairmen" rang out throughout the game, as Notts put in a performance that established their challenge for immediate promotion back to the football league. Whether Notts genuinely have a chance of that promotion is a question for another blog! Worst away days: My least favourite ground I've visited this season would have to be Sutton. The whole vibe of the place was quite weird; on the one hand the stewards and other staff at the ground were very posh and overly formal. On the other hand, I recall facilities at this ground being particularly poor and not up to standard. The fact that the game was poor didn't help, but there was no real atmosphere at this ground which made for a pretty unmemorable experience. Another away ground I didn't particularly enjoy was Eastleigh; a ground which while facilities were modern and up to standard, was just pretty bland and the result also contributed to a relatively unmemorable day. While I can't moan too much about Chesterfield away as an experience as we've been there before in the football league and the facilities are pretty good for this level, I must give a special mention to Chesterfield advertising that they were selling out of date beer at the ground. Thanks for telling all away fans that they should give that a swerve, I guess! Thankfully no matter how bad things have got at Notts, we've never stooped to that low. So are the grounds in the National League significantly worse than those in League Two? I suppose it depends what you look for in a ground. In terms of character, there are some pretty bland grounds wherever you go in the football league. Therefore, an old fashioned ground like Aldershot, Halifax, or Maidenhead is definitely more charming than a football league out of town ground like Colchester or MK Dons. However, if you're talking about facilities then the overall standard is definitely slightly lower. The facilities at most non league clubs who have never been in the football league are definitely not quite up to football league standards in the whole ground, never quite as clean or well maintained as facilities in a football league ground. But even at the worst of times at any tinpot non-league ground, it's important to remember that this roller-coaster ride will all be worth it when Notts are a football league club! Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    16 points
  2. I have a confession to make. I feel sorry for Forest fans. They so desperately want the Cloughie years to return; to be European Champions again. But the facts of the matter are that those days will never be repeated – so long as money falls from the Sky into the lake of professional football to make the big clubs richer, the small clubs poorer, and the gap filled by the ‘also-ran’ clubs, which currently seems to stretch from the middle of the Premiership into the top half of League One, bigger. But let’s leave the fans from across the Trent to dream their impossible dream and, instead ask ourselves a more realistic question. One which can only be both asked, and answered, with rose-tinted specs removed and after swallowing a course of medication prescribed to cure UES (Unrealistic Expectation Syndrome). Are Notts County an ‘also ran’ club or now consigned to become a small club? The last two or three seasons have shown conclusively that to be successful in League One, and then hold head above water in the Championship, the primary requirement of any football club is to have either an oligarch as owner with an ego only slightly smaller than his bank balance, or the income generated by regular 5-figure home-match attendance figures. Preferably both. Members of the jury, as evidence, I lay before you AFC Bournemouth. It is now 20 years since I first moved to Nottingham and became a Pie-head. In that time I have seen the Club fall from second-tier grace and then since zebedee between the third and forth tiers. Sadly, in the same period of time, I have also seen average Meadow Lane attendance figures fall from five figures to lower-half four figures. Sadly, his profligacy has not been supported by a growth in turnstile income and, until fans start returning to watch Notts in greater numbers, I rather fear that our once great football club may well not yet have reached the depths of its descent because even Mr Trew’s apparent willingness to fritter away his money will come to an end if attendances at home matches don’t start to grow. Being cynical – if the expectation of seeing a return on his investment disappears, he will surely call it a day and quit while he shows no sign of winning. While I understand that football is an entertainments business and that the fans will decided whether the entertainment on offer represents a worthy return on their money, I can’t help wondering whether, if the absent fans had attended more than just the last away match of each of the previous two seasons, the Club would still have found itself back in the basement division once again? All the signs, pre-season, are that Ray Trew understands that the fans want to be entertained. To be able to leave Meadow Lane on a Saturday evening feeling buoyed up and thrilled; wanting more. He has chucked what could turn out to be the last throw of his dice by putting up a substantial playing budget and investing in a manager who wants to play a thrilling brand of football that gets bums off seats, let alone on them. We hope that the close-season player dealings will turn out to be astute and that we have a successful season ahead. But….. the final, vital, piece to complete this jig-saw of success is now in the pockets of us, the Notts County fans. If we truly want our club to be successful, then we have to pay our part in making it so. It won’t happen in an empty stadium. Corrupting the final lines of a quite brilliant set of lyrics: “If you want to make Meadow Lane a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change”! Only when we return in numbers to Meadow Lane will our football club start to climb up the league again. The blame game has to stop here. It’s up to us now. So let’s do this Club proud and support it in the truest sense of the word.
    13 points
  3. Usually, at the beginning of the season, managers rotate their squads a fair amount – this was no doubt the same for Neal Ardley. While many fans called for him to settle the squad down, myself included, it is quite natural to switch out players here and there. Sometimes, it’s a little concerning when it’s five or more and when it’s never allowed to settle. Yes, sometimes it’s due to fitness concerns, tactical reasons but you know when there’s too many. For the most of the 2019/20 season, I have felt encouraged and have seen some good performance. There have been woeful ones, yet most players work hard to do well in games, and this is all we can ask of them. Right now, there are several players massively out of form and a few who have been quite poor all season. To a degree, this is to be expected after the season we had last year and all of the turmoil leading up to the current campaign – but there becomes a time when playing them isn’t the answer. Before the recent form, I know fans talked about having “depth” in the squad, and I would have agreed, while the likes of Matt Tootle, Pierce Bird and others have been frozen out. Sometimes it appears quite harshly; It makes you wonder if this is part of the issue, a lack of competition and rewards for performers who have done well. Strong competition, a good level of morale led to a level of success during the 2017/18 season under Kevin Nolan, players coming into the squad knew what were expected to remain in the squad. The complete opposite to the season in which Notts were relegated from the Football League for simply being not good enough. After all, it must be disheartening for some players to put on the shirt, perform to a standard which they’re happy with, only to end up falling out of favour. Sam Osborne is the perfect example since he’s an academy prospect and has bulked up a fair amount during the close season. When he starts, I think he does better personally, whereas a sub it does take him a little time to get up to speed, and this is all-natural. I’m not knocking him, I think he’s a great prospect and if I were the manager of Notts County he would be starting a lot more. Simply due to his work rate and importance of development, as he will only improve with game time. Which leaves the question why we haven’t given the likes of Enzio Boldewijn a rest, a good player, defensively a disappointing but when in form – no doubt a quality player. This season, he’s appeared more of a luxury and quite fortunate that Ardley holds him with such high regards. As to me, it seems Boldewijn is guaranteed a start either due to lacking natural wide men or simply due to the odd wonder goal he scores – which never gives the full facts about his performances. I must stress, I do like him, and I’m trying to nitpick about him. I feel that when you have a player so desperately out of form, it makes little sense to expect him to improve when he’s constantly being played and almost 99% guaranteed to start. The same can be said for both full-back positions, Damien McCrory has looked good, but his form has dipped as of late. Richard Brindley looks a good technical signing; however, much of the same can be said about him too. At centre back, it’s almost like Ardley has gone out of his way to guarantee certain players will start in these positions. When asked about the position, he’s mentioned that he can’t make changes due to a lack of cover – yet allowed Bird to depart on loan to Boston United. I know some fans also have concerns about our strike force; however, I don’t think they’re the issue. Kyle Wootton has come into his element, found his boots and works hard. The only call I might suggest is switching Wes Thomas for Kristian Dennis when playing teams which either lack height at the back or have scrappy defenders who would leave Dennis the space to thrive. Nathan Tyson is perfectly fine to be a rotational and casual starter, and there’s the option of putting him out wide if we require too. In midfield, I do feel there’s a requirement for more creativity – Regan Booty is far more effective for me being able to dictate the passing and play a more advanced role as a play-maker. I agree with many fans that Mitch Rose and Michael Doyle doesn’t work – yet would allowing Rose to go out wide make sense? Rose hasn’t seemed the same player all season; however, I did feel he performed much better when Doyle was sitting out his suspension. There are advantages to giving some young and hungry players a chance to start, but when they see that it’s almost certain that whatever they do – the following week will return to the same lineup there’s a major lack of motivation. Give Osborne more game time, re-introduce Dion Kelly-Evans – consider giving Zoumana Bakayogo a game. Allow Boldewijn and Rose to sit out a few games, bring in Booty or Shields to remove some of the pressure. Make the most of the depth we have at our disposal, and it’s easy for me to suggest this, much hard to put in practice – I admit. Yet the issue Ardley faces is the fact it will only become harder the longer he leaves it. Squad morale and confidence would make a massive difference to this Notts County team. Most fans want to see the club fighting, giving 100% and at times this has fallen short. Most people I know and I don’t expect us to be thrashing teams – that is unrealistic but throwing it out there as part of the problem doesn’t make it part of the solution. Much like Ardley suggesting people want him to fail, fans want to see and feel the clubs moving forward. Nobody’s bothered if certain people behind the scenes has problems, you have to get on with it. Otherwise, it seems like you have accepted it as a problem. Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    12 points
  4. Notts County are said to be interested in the former Newcastle United striker Adam Campbell. The Nottingham Post reported on Friday that the Magpies may be willing to offer the 20-year-old forward a lifeline following his release by the Tyneside club. Campbell was once held in high regard by United but failed to make the grade with the Premier League outfit and was let go by the Magpies at the end of the season. Campbell had a fleeting career at St James’ Park which was limited to just five appearances after the striker was shipped out on loan to Carlisle United, St Mirren, Fleetwood Town, Hartlepool United and Gateshead to aid his development. Campbell spent time of loan with Gateshead last term but still managed to bag 12 goals in 30 appearances for United’s under 21s setup and the Geordie-born attacker’s form caught the eye of Premier League rivals, West Bromwich Albion. Albion offered the former England youth international a trial back in April but the striker failed to make a lasting impression on the Baggies who opted against pursuing their interest in the player. However the news of Campbell’s release has alerted the attention of County boss Ricardo Moniz who is keen to bolster his attacking armoury amid the injuries to Ronan Murray and Colby Bishop. It remains to be seen whether Campbell’s ex- Newcastle colleague, Alan Smith, will persuade Moniz to offer the striker a route back into football following the striker’s fledgling career, with the forward yet to live up to his early promise. @JBarlow95_
    12 points
  5. Whilst I want to openly acknowledge that Notts requires strengthening up-top off the bat, one player I believe Ian Burchnall needs to commit to giving regular game time during the 2021/22 National League season is Lewis Knight. Arriving at Meadow Lane from Bradford Park Avenue, the exciting forward who has a blistering amount of pace – described during his debut for the magpies by BT Sports as ‘rapid’ looked to be a real handful. I can only imagine how effective he can become with developing further as a player and, featuring around the likes of Kyle Wootton and Elisha Sam who should only benefit the 22-year-old. Having scored 11 goals in 15 appearances for Park Avenue, it signalled a real sign of intent by Notts to sign such as young upcoming player, but I felt slightly disappointed after his initial run of games and the appointment of Ian Burchnall that his development time seemed to be abandoned - this might’ve been due to an injury to the young striker, towards the tail end of the last campaign. I mean, I can understand that whilst Jimmy Knowles was scoring those all-important goals that it left little space for him – especially with Knowles finding himself on the bench towards the end of last season. But I saw something promising in Knight, that needs to be given time to come up to the level the club requires. It’s not just due to his pace, which alone would cause a lot of those slow lanky brutes in National League trouble – his reading of the game seems to be something promising, as he found space which other players might not have drifted into. I think with the focus being on playing quick, steady build-up football – the sheer number of knock-ons that he would be able to get onto would be exciting to see. Plus, the formation of playing three centre-backs provides Notts that extra edge up top, that someone could really thrive from with the right level of support. It’s clear that Ian Burchnall favours this style of play as it provides an extra body in attack, but with a strong tall striker like Kyle Wootton, a tricky winger like Callum Roberts – this would leave opposition teams having to commit players to marking them alone. Including the new additions to the Notts ranks, such Aaron Nemane who also has a speedy reputation. The sluggish, slow Notts of old could be a thing of the past. When you intend to play ‘pretty football’ you need players who can hang onto the ball or at least run with it, I firmly feel Lewis Knight can develop into a forward that can get those all-important goals. Knight could be the right player to advance further with the right nurturing, being a player that could develop into a free scoring striker. Nobody imagined that Wootton would be such a big hit at Meadow Lane, yet I can see a similar amount of hard-work and graft in Knight too. Whether, he plays a big part in the upcoming season – it would be a waste not to give him further time to showcase what he can do. I also, don’t believe it would benefit Notts to loan him out as its clear he needs to make the step-up in order to be a success and the chances of him going out to a team above us seems slim. If there’s one thing we know, goal scorers are hard to find and even more difficult to see do well in our famous Black & White shirts. This is why, I feel for the promising aspects of Lewis Knights game – the only way he can improve further is to be given a chance to establish himself this upcoming season. Join the Pride of Nottingham in discuss what role you see Lewis Knight fulfilling in the upcoming season. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    11 points
  6. Once again Mr Trew's taken time out of his busy schedule to answer questions asked by our community here at Pride of Nottingham. It was July 2013 the last time we put a series of questions to the chairman of Notts County Football Club. Several members of the community took to ask questions, we asked everyone to help select which questions should be put to Mr Trew and here we are. Question asked by WeymouthPIE; How happy are you with the current position of the club on and off the field? Is it in the position you expected or hoped it would be in at this point when you first took over? To be honest and frank after the promotion in 2010 i thought we would sail through league 1 and become a championship side. However, i had a rude awakening but i have never lost site of this dream. I am more than happy with the progress this season and i dont mind admitting that its shows to me that there is no correlation between monies spent and success. This season and its no secret i cut the playing budget considerably but we now probably for the first time since my take-over i have a management team who believe in what we are trying to achieve and are happy to work with the budget given to them. Question asked by hissingdwarf; Do you think the artificial pitch is the way to go? Have you consulted the players on their feelings? I can say that at the Chairmans Conference is Cyprus in 2011 we were one of the clubs who proposed this. Unfortunately at that time it got voted down. We did this because it was apparent to all the damage the surface suffered from the Rugby. Now we have reached agreement with the Rugby to vacate Meadow Lane then need to 3G or 4G is much less. I am still personally in favour of lower league clubs playing on this surface because the risk of getting Winter games called off is few and far between. Question asked by Northants Pie; If you could do one thing for the betterment of football in general what would it be? More particularly the football league? Simply change the way the voting mechanism works. We currently have a system in the FL that even if you had both League 1 and League 2 voting in favour of change if the Championship voted against it, it would fail. I personally think the voting system is outdated and at the determent o football in general. It should be one team one vote in my opinion. Question asked by Canadian; What is your outlook for the next 3 seasons. Is the aim to reach the Championship? I think with our management team the club is in safe hands and we are building slowly for the future. The ambition and aim is to have Notts playing year in year out in the Championship that goal has never changed. Question asked by PTID1862; How does FFP affect both the club and yourself?... are the club currently within the rules without additional revenue injection? We manage to work with FFP only because the cash i inject into the football club. These monies are not allowed to be put in as loans but have to be Capital. Unfortunately, without someone injecting cash each season the club could not work with FFP simply because the expenditure is greater than our income. Question asked by Cobby; What do you attribute Derry and Abbott's current success to when compared with previous managers? This is a very good question which i have to say i have given a lot of thought to. In my opinion the important aspect for them is team spirit and players having the right attitude. We have been offered and had the ability to sign some what i would regard as Top Players at this level but they would not sign them because in there opinion they didn’t have the right attitude. ITs ironic and i have covered this off in a previous response but it highlight to me that there is no correlation between monies spent and success. Question asked by hissingdwarf; Out of all the players purchased, which has been the worst purchase and which was the 'one that got away' that you regret the most missing out on? I am not going to talk about specific individuals and i am sure i dont need to mention names because we all know who they are. With regard players we have missed out on there have been a number which i scout identified but the manager in situ at the time didn’t fancy for one reason or another. A number of these players have gone on to play in the Championship and Premier League and what is more sickening for me, been sold for vast sums. Question asked by TonyHateley; What has been your greatest regret since becoming the owner of Notts County FC? Quite simply the number of managers i have gone through. My biggest problem was i wanted immediate success and if a manger didn’t deliver this then i was trigger happy. I decided when i hired Shaun and Greg that even if we were relegated i would have stuck wight hem because believe in what they are trying to achieve. Question asked by Dripsey3; Do you have sleepless nights thinking about the amount of money it will cost to compete in the Championship if we get promoted? Did you know that the Championship is the 6th highest spending league in Europe? Are you sweating yet? Surprisingly not. Notts work better as a business in League 2 and the Championship. We are fortunate geographically if we were able to get into the Championship that we would have a number of packed house in many games because there are so many Midlands Clubs playing in it. In addition next season Championship Clubs get from memory another £3million a season from the PL so as a business model is works better than League 1. Question asked by liampie; I would like to know if there is any more plans to develop meadow lane further and if not, does that means you're happy with the ground? We have had plans drawn up now for just over 2 years on the development of the Family Stand. When i feel the time is right we will push the button on this project. Question asked by Cobby; Thankfully Greg Dyke's proposals (i.e. B TeamS) to "help" the English football fell of deaf ears. What were your thoughts on his proposals and do you think there is a way the FA could help the English game while also benefiting lower league teams? In short no. We now live in a era where you have the tail (i.e The Premier League) wagging the dog until they lose some of there power within the game nothing will ever change Question asked by Notts-Joe; Can you tell us anything new regarding the progress of Jimmy Spencer? I heard that the club have paid for some expensive equipment which will hopefully help in return and news regarding him returning to light training. Can you shed any light on this and Jimmy? Yes we have invested in some new equipment to assist with many injuries. Jimmy has made use of this equipment and his rehabilitation is now much more advanced. We are hoping if this progress continues he will feature before the end of this campaign. My personal opinion for what its worth and this is not to say the people filling his boots have not done well but if we had him playing this season we would be much higher up the table and close on the heels of Bristol City. ---------------------------------------- Extra question Question from TonyHateley's six year old Grandson George: My Grandad says you bought Notts County for a pound, the tooth fairy gave me £2 last week can I buy it off you? Its very easy to buy a football club but its no so easy maintaining one. Whilst i may have brought it for a pound i have spent over £18million to date either in direct cash or through sponsorships directly and indirectly by companies under my control. Join PoN - Register Here To View Other Content - Visit "PoN's Live Centre" or "View New Content". If you're new - Read Our Guide To the Site | Getting Used to PoN 101 Pride of Nottingham would like to thank Mr Trew for taking the time to answer our questions, we very much appreciate the time and it means a lot to out community that he would grant us time to do this feature. Onwards and Upwards! You Pies!!
    11 points
  7. Notts County manager, Ian Burchnall had to patch up his side after the club was hit with several injuries to his first-team. Defender's Connell Rawlinson and, Kyle Cameron both suffering injuries which saw the magpies' bring in Ciaran Brennan, despite the return to popular centre back Alex Lacey who has since picked up a knock himself. The injuries coincided with a run of poor form for Notts, as they lost 3 games back-to-back, but magpies boss Ian Burchnall has cause for celebration with several key players close to making their full return. "I expect him back by the Stockport game," said Notts County, head coach Ian Burchnall. "I hope so, but we have to just scan the knee, he took a bad blow on the knee a few weeks ago, and we've kind of patched him up, because you know Connell Rawlinson has been away with his injury and, Kyle Cameron has been away. "Alex Lacey was probably the lowest risk to get back on the pitch but after those two games in quick succession, he was really struggling on Wednesday, so we just decided that we couldn't risk it today we had to rest him." He added, "Hopefully that we can give him now, maybe the FA Cup game off and prepare him for Stockport. "Connell Rawlinson should be back ready for the FA Cup game, Kyle Cameron's back, he came through that really well." Due to an injury to Sam Slocombe, Notts brought in highly-rated youngster Anthony Patterson. Although the injury to Slocombe was picked up in training and, considered to not be serious, the magpies' acted swift to bring in cover for the suspected 3-week absence of the regular shot-stopper. "Sam Slocombe should be back as well, so it's starting to look bright from that front, but again you know Adam Chicksen's playing through, He's got a bad rib injury, he came off. "To be honest, he was in a lot of pain before the game." Before expanding "I think against Woking he fell into the post and, we don't know if it's broken or not. "It's very, very sore in the ribs and, he's playing through the pain barrier for us. So we had to get him off, it was too much by the end and, hopefully we can give him a rest now. "Joel Taylor pulled up with just a tight groin yesterday, so again, we need to treat him with Adam Chicksen struggling, a little bit. We hope that we can get him back ready for the FA Cup." Check out the latest Pride of Nottingham T-Shirt range, which is available from our online web store!: Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    10 points
  8. Ahead of our new weekly update on how the potential future of Notts County is progressing we are going to have a recap on how the season has started so far. The youth team play their matches within the Football League Youth Alliance U18 North East division, the league consists of the following 13 teams. Bradford City - Burton Albion - Chesterfield - Doncaster Rovers - Grimsby Town - Hartlepool United - Hull City - Lincoln City - Mansfield Town - Notts County - Rotherham United - Scunthorpe United - York City. We currently sit in 5th place in the league with 14 points from 9 games, a link to the full league table can be found here There are two separate cup competitions, one being the Football League Youth Alliance Cup, the other being the FA Youth Cup. Unfortunately we were knocked out in the first round of the Youth Alliance Cup on penalties 8-7 to Burton Albion after the game finished 1-1. We have been drawn against Peterborough United in the first round of the FA Youth Cup with this game being played tonight 12/11/2014 at London Road, details of this can be found here along with Head of Academy Coaching Mick Halsall's thoughts on the game. The latest Youth Alliance league game was played at the Eagle Valley stadium on Saturday the 8th November, we came out on top of the five goal thriller with a 3-2 victory against Bradford City, Ben Browne opened the scoring for us with Bradford City replying shortly afterwards, highly rated striker Colby Bishop soon put us back in front from the penalty spot, once again though Bradford city equalised just before the interval, we won the game in the second half through Rhys Myers who scored with a powerful header from a set piece straight from the training pitch. Mick Halsall commented on the performance saying "Bradford City are one of the leagues better sides, but we competed well against the physical unit and earnt an important win, the lads attitude and desire to work shone through. They always give 100%" Next up for lads in the league is Mansfield away on the 15th November, once again we are in action tonight against Peterborough United in the FA Youth Cup at London Road with a 7pm kick off, ticket details can be found here.
    10 points
  9. The importance of networking and making club connections, especially within the local community has never been as beneficial for lower league teams as it is under the new financial fair play rules. Teams within League One and Two have far more to gain by opening their doors to the local teams which play around them. This of course means clubs will have to put aside rivalry for the betterment of their own development if they struggle to bring in that additional quality. Notts have actually been making their own progress in this department this year, whilst the club has actively put into place methods of balancing their financial outgoings by reducing agent fee's with their deals. This allows a club like Notts County to open their doors and to become a club whereby teams can trust Notts with their upcoming players. Shaun Derry has said himself that it is a good way of reducing unnecessary costs at the football club by working with local sides, the likes of Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Birmingham City and Derby County to name a few. Locally based players will not have the cost of apartments, hotels and other fee's which come attached to signing players who have to settle a way from their home. Becoming trusted by managers, whilst working on that reputation offers Notts a platform which they can work off. It promotes the club in an efficient and effective way which means once trusted with youngsters, clubs may trust Notts with their out of form players. Of course it puts Notts in a situation where by free players might become interested in seeking the exact same opportunity, so it serves more purpose to be patience about signing young players on short term loan deals, as this enables Notts to really forge themselves within the transfer market. The difficulties of balancing expectations, along with establishing a strong squad for promotion is a difficult game, especially when budgets don't permit a lot of movement. This is where the abilities of being a good neighbour comes into it, it allows teams just like Notts to gain that extra special quality to bulk up their existing squad. It doesn't always mean the arrival of an established head, or a player with a known name. sometimes it means taking a gamble on youngsters eager to make that step up who are below that radar. Who had heard of Callum McGregor or Jack Grealish before they arrived at Meadow Lane last season? Their hard work put themselves on the map, it opened the door to them to their respected clubs first team. The same principles can be applied to this seasons loan players such as Reece Brown, Louis Laing, Stephen Mclaughlin, Michael Petrasso, Jake Cassidy and Zeli Ismail. Louis Laing has that opportunity to prove himself at Forest, whereas Stephen McLaughlin will be in contention for the first team with both players being required under the embargo the club have found themselves under. Michael Petrasso will possibly be loaned out to a Championship side, with Jake Cassidy and Zeli Ismail potentially ending up back on loan with a team lower than that. Yet it does show the openness of Notts to work along side locally based teams, especially now that Alefe Santos and Kwame Thomas arrive at Meadow Lane, it is for Notts to show that they can look after them, make use of their talents and perhaps further doors will be unlocked with time. Aided with the ability to produce young talent of our own, the budget in future seasons might be balanced out with a mix of players offering a vast variety of skills which can be used by Shaun Derry. It's likely until Notts have a few good seasons, whereby crowds increase largely and with the addition of any possible cup runs that things may be different but even under those circumstances the ability to be trusted with loan players is of vast importance to the club. You have to make use of every opportunity available in order to overcome the difficulties attached and really, we can consider ourselves lucky to already have the widening net under our current manager. We have made a lot of ground this season and the way it's going, I see no reason why in the future we can't replicate a mix of aspects the likes of Walsall (youngsters), Peterborough (non league signings) and of course Swindon (parent club, i.e Spurs) have made in order for ourselves to progress. Really you have to make sure that the club is doing all in which it can, I honestly believe Notts are. Whether you agree or not, this leads to a discussion which I openly encourage. Discuss this Feature - Live Centre - View New Content
    10 points
  10. Notts County have pulled off an audacious raid on Huddersfield Town by fending off much competition to snap up Jon Stead. Stead’s arrival at Notts sends out a clear message to the rest of the division - that Notts are serious about promotion- with the attacker penning a two-year deal at Meadow Lane following his release by Huddersfield Town. Manager Ricardo Moniz wants his new side to be ruthless in front of goal next season and expects 60 goals from his front line. Moniz has turned his attention to the former England Under 21 international to spearhead the Magpies’ promotion push, and the former Terriers’ striker is keen to repay his new manager’s faith in him. “After speaking to the manager, he sees me as a part of the project of getting the club on the right track and it is brilliant to feel wanted like that”, Stead said. Stead had an almighty season whilst on loan at Bradford City last campaign where he helped the Bantrams to reach the FA Cup semi-finals. Bradford sank Premier League champions Chelsea in the competition and the side were desperate to retain Stead’s services. But in a dramatic turn of events the much-travelled Stead has instead opted for a move to Notts- admitting that it was the ambition shown by Guy Branston, the club’s head if recruitment, which convinced him to join the East Midlands outfit. “The move came through a lot of pestering from Guy Branston. I remember him as a player and didn’t want to let him down. “Guy told me about the project and the club moving forward, first of all getting back into League 1 and kicking on from there. “And speaking to the manager (Ricardo Moniz) and hearing his philosophy, I’m interested to see how things pan out”, he added. The dynamic forward will add muscle to Notts’ attacking armoury and will hope to make Moniz’s hopes a reality by helping Notts to make an immediate return to League 1 next season. Jamie tweets @JBarlow95_
    10 points
  11. Notts County has continued to strengthen their promotion chasing team with the signing of experienced Football League midfielder Matt Palmer. The 26-year-old had been made available for a free transfer after leaving Swindon Town last season. Having appeared more than 200 times within the Football League, Palmer arrives at Meadow Lane on a 2-year-deal. Notts County head coach, Ian Burchnall said: "We’ve brought in two very talented young midfielders in Ed Francis and Frank Vincent this summer, "So adding someone of Matt’s experience will give us great balance in the central area" He added. "Matt’s played more than 50 games in the Championship, around 80 in League One and nearly 100 in League Two "He brings a lot of know-how to the squad while, at the age of 26, he still has plenty to offer in terms of development and improvement. We’re looking at him playing a similar role to Jake Reeves towards the end of last season. "He could play deep, but we see him more as a box-to-box midfielder who can contribute to the attacking side of the game." Ian Burchnall has described Palmer's arrival as being 'perfect for us'. "Matt’s got a great eye for a forward pass and will also contribute a lot when we’re looking to retain possession as he’s really comfortable with the ball and very competent technically. "We’ve still got Lamine Kaba Sherif, William Hondermarck and Kyle Bennett on trial, and they’re all showing promise" said the head coach. "We have the capacity to strengthen further in the midfield area should we wish to." Join in with the Pride of Nottingham community, as fans discuss the arrival of Matt Palmer. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    9 points
  12. Everyone is no doubt entitled to an opinion, no one can take opinions away that's fair enough. Do I agree with the Neal Ardley out crew? No. Do I see some of the points they make? Yes. Do I believe they expect too much? Yes. Here's my thought process - Ardley arrived at the club last season which can be described as an absolute mess. We had a chairman who couldn’t keep quiet or leave social media alone, which resulted in us losing loan deals from our nearest neighbours Nottingham Forest that I believe would have kept us in the league. Notts County end up relegated to the National League for the first time in the club’s existence, not great but it's football, teams get relegated and promoted every season, and last season was our turn to swallow the rather large bitter pill. We go into pre-season, players, managers, staff are not being paid. However, despite this they all stick around and continue to do their jobs regardless of pay. Alan Hardy then finally sells up the club, a mere 10 days before the season starts! The transfer embargo is then finally lifted, the club makes quick use of the transfer market and start to bring in players of quality, in different positions. First few games were terrible, no shape, no chemistry we looked all over the place. Fast forward to now, yes, we have not won as many games as we would like as fans, but we have not been made to look terrible by any team in the league. We have made defensive and attacking errors on the pitch. How many times last season could you say that we lost or drew a game that we should have won on the performance? Maybe 3 times? Possibly more. This season we can’t say that so much. And we are drawing games that we would have lost last during the last campaign. How can people not see this as a step in the right direction? The club was never going to set the world alight this season straight away, it takes time and the right foundations have to be brought into the place which the Danish owners Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz seem to be done quietly. It’s a simple fact that the club and the players need more time. We have a competitive side now, where players will have to fight for a place because of quality signings breathing down necks – rather than the usual quantity transfers the club has brought in during the previous regimes. For me, 2 players know they are getting picked every game at the minute, Michael Doyle and Enzio Boldewijn. I think Ardley may bring in another centre back with the departure of Sheffield United youngster Sam Graham due to injury, but a part from that I think the squad is sorted with the arrival of Kyle Wootton upfront. The National League is tough; anyone can beat anyone on their day. The league could be turned up-side down by February. Who would have said this campaign would have started so badly? I thought they would be up there, but this league is brutal. There is still some mess behind the scenes being sorted out, and Ardley is a massive part of that. He stood by us when he had nothing and we nearly had no club, maybe we should stand by him a little more? It’s a simple fact, this season will not see a quick fix, it takes time. We must be happy to accept that a positive outcome this year is survival? Not scraping the results by, but doing so comfortably. Then next season with a proper budget and a full pre-season, Notts County can then push. However, I'll say it now, there is a long way in this league with a lot more games to play. We could still push for the playoffs this season. It will be tough, but us fans will have a big part in this I feel. In the meantime, let's all just enjoy our club, enjoy the fact we are still in existence, unlike what has recently happened to Bury FC, and we still get to go to the best stadium in Non-League! We are Notts County! All Notts aren't we? This is my opinion. I'm entitled to it. Tear me down if you want to, but I stand by it! COYP!!!! Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    9 points
  13. So, what can be said about the once voted 'most stressful club' some years ago? Well, the last few years have brought us relegation battles, false promises from rich owners, and more managers than Betty has made hot pots. It's been a season so far of ifs and buts, hasn't it? It certainly has for me. What if Ricardo Moniz was given sole responsibility for player recruitment? What if he was allowed to choose his own backroom team? What if Izale McLeod was given a strike partner instead of putting his perfect match on the left wing? Maybe things would be better - maybe they would be worse? Who knows? The most alarming and most frustrating element of the season is: what is our agenda? What direction and philosophy is the club trying to follow? We were promised a quality core of players surrounded by up and coming talent – yet the opposite has happened. These questions haven’t been answered - which is probably the most frustrating thing for every Notts fan that 'packs' out Meadow Lane every other Saturday afternoon. There has been an evident divide among Notts fans regarding the chairman, Ray Trew. It’s hugely apparent that he does have the ambition to take this club forward, by substantially backing Moniz in the summer with quality acquisitions in McLeod, Jon Stead, Scott Loach and of course, the foreign contingent which everybody was so excited about. However, it’s fair to say that performances have been inconsistent at best. We've had truly awful performances against teams we should be competing with on all levels - Carlisle, Wimbledon, Cambridge, Mansfield and of course the horror show at Salford. But on the flip side, we have seen the best attacking football seen for years against Barnet, Huddersfield, Crawley, Luton and Premiership side Aston Villa. So what have we learnt from the squad we have? How can we describe the quality of players we possess? Personally, we potentially have one of the best XI in the division with one of the division’s most lethal finisher, arguably the best goalkeeping duo and quality across the middle in the shapes of Stanley Aborah, Liam Noble, Robert Milsom and Curtis Thompson. We have good quality in both youth and depth that very rarely challenge the starting XI with Genaro Snijders, Wes Atkinson, Rhys Sharpe, Lartey Sarpong, Scott Loach, Jimmy Spencer, Ronan Murray, Graham Burke, Gill Swerts, Kyle de Silva and Filip Valencic all warming their cobbles on the bench with a hot cup of the Kop’s famous Bovril. So why the poor league position? Why another manager that couldn't last a season? Does it come from above? Are Trew and Winter getting involved into footballing affairs instead of letting the manager do his job? And on that note we welcome Jamie Fullarton - is he the 'Yes Man' that RT has been after? Maybe. Or maybe, RT has seen something in Fullarton that no one else has. Sacked from Bolton for 'mismanagement' of the youth team and known for his aggressive and disciplinarian management style. Not the appointment Notts fans were shouting about when the shortlist consisted of proven high quality managers with names of John Sheridan, Mark Cooper and Lee Clarke who have all been successful at this level. To say Jamie needs to win over the fans quick is the understatement of the season. Fullarton is up against it already with his bizarre team selection and awful defensive tactics on Saturday accompanied by the worst performance of the entire season. Now we go to Luton, another team in this division that should be challenging the top 6. Myself, and 8 others, will be checking into the Comfort Hotel and no doubt come 3:45pm, be moaning and groaning at another bemusing team selection and awful first half of football. Or knowing Notts, be 3-0 up with the best attacking and fluid football we have seen for years. Who knows! It is Notts after all… See you all Saturday. COYP Do you agree with this article? Let Pride of Nottingham know by signing up to the community, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
    9 points
  14. Jamie Fullarton’s reign as Notts County manager has got off to the best possible start as he masterminded a 1-0 win away at Crawley Town, courtesy of a stunning volley from Filip Valencic, who made his full debut for the Magpies on Saturday. In one fell swoop the former Nottingham Forest head of development righted a number of wrongs present under former manager Ricardo Moniz – that is, an away win (the first since the opening weekend of the season, over five months ago), a clean sheet (the first since our goalless draw with Bristol Rovers in October), a strong defensive performance, and a goal from a player that barely featured under the Dutchman. The Reds started brightly with Matt Harrold surprising Roy Carroll with a shot inside a minute, which the goalkeeper fumbled. Gavin Tomlin was then unlucky to have his shot from a tight angle on the right tipped over the bar, as the home team looked to make an early impact. It was all Crawley in the opening half an hour, but Notts maintained their composure at the back as their opponents proved lacklustre in front of goal, although Ronan Murray had to come to the rescue when he cleared Sonny Bradley's header off the line. County regrouped in the second half and went on to take the lead after 63 minutes when Jon Stead found Valencic, who did not wait for a second invitation and volleyed past the diving Darryl Flahavan. The visitors became increasingly desperate in the latter stages as they bid to get something out of the game, but Notts remained strong and steady at the back as they run the clock down until the final whistle, which was met with jubilation by the players and the travelling fans. Share your opinions on the result, County's performance, and whether Jamie Fullarton may just be the right man for the job on the Pride of Nottingham forum - sign up to our community and join the conversation. Credit to Dan Westwell for the image
    9 points
  15. Talk about going from strength to strength. We’re on the cusp of November now, and with the season in full swing, Notts County now find themselves well into League One’s playoff places following another good display and a clean sheet finished off with a solitary strike from the spot to secure all three points away at Scunthorpe United in a 1-0 win at Glanford Park. The Magpies had the better of the opening exchanges, Shaun Harrad blasting wide from a corner in the second minute. Then, a cross from Blair Adams just missed Michael Petrasso, before Liam Noble struck the post with a long-range effort. The Iron played in a manner not befitting their lowly league position, with Gary McSheffrey also rattling the woodwork with a header, while Roy Carroll had to save from Lyle Taylor after Haydn Hollis’s miscued header nearly set their striker up. Shaun Harrad then saw a shot saved by Robert Olenjik following a ball from Garry Thompson. Mustapha Dumbuya had to be at his best to thwart Paddy Madden and McSheffrey early on in the second half, but in the 54th minute, Madden and Taylor combined to very nearly score, the ball going wide by a whisker. Both defences were at their steadfast best throughout most of the second half, with blocks and tackles taking the sting out of most efforts. The game looked like it could go either way, but right at the end of the game, Olejnik hauled down substitute Ronan Murray in the box to gift the visitors a penalty. Fellow substitute Zeli Ismail set the ball on the spot and duly smashed home to gift Notts the win in front of the ecstatic away fans, which puts the Magpies third in the league.
    9 points
  16. Today's game between Notts County and Coventry City is bound to go down in Magpie history. Not so much for the result, a solid 1-0 win to the visitors achieved thanks to a Garry Thompson goal in the second half, but for the actions of one of the team members. Roy Carroll played for Northern Ireland in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania in Bucharest, keeping the score down as his nation was defeated 2-0 and getting the Man of the Match award. Nobody would have expected Carroll to turn out for Notts today, given that he would have had to catch a flight from Romania back to the UK and make his way to Coventry in the space of about 15 hours. However, this is just what he did - according to BBC Radio Nottingham's Colin Slater, Carroll caught a flight from the Romanian capital to London Heathrow airport at 7am local time (Romania's two hours ahead). The veteran stopper is then said to have collected his car and driven up the motorway to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, before reporting to Magpies manager Shaun Derry and declaring that he was fit to play. The Sky Blues surely would have been shocked at the team announcement, which shows commitment and determination of the absolute highest level - not to mention the boost it would have handed Notts and the travelling fans. That said, the first effort of the game fell to the home side, Adam Barton slicing a low shot wide in the second minute. The game proved scrappy in the opening stages, but come the quarter-hour mark, the action started coming, with Haydn Hollis forcing a good block and Stephen McLaughlin seeing his deflected shot saved. The best chance of the first half fell to Notts when Mike Edwards’s header was cleared off the line by Aaron Phillips in the 29th minute. Carroll was feared injured when Phillips clattered into him towards the end of the half, the stopper struggling to walk off the field after the whistle went, but he was good to go into the second half. The Northern Ireland man had to be alert to punch away a James O'Brien corner, while moments later, Jack Finch blasted a long-range effort that flew just over. Coventry seemed to grow into the game and continued to threaten, but the deadlock was to be broken by the visitors, Thompson racing through on goal in the 72nd minute before chipping a ball over goalkeeper Ryan Allsop and into the net. With two minutes left of the game, the Sky Blues felt they should have had a penalty when Hollis looked to have fouled Gary Madine, but referee Michael Bull waved away the appeals. Ultimately, the final whistle blew to confirm an excellent away victory - buoyed by the Notts performance and Carroll's titanic effort to get back in time to play for his club - which sees the Magpies climb to fourth in the table.
    9 points
  17. In this weeks PoN's preview to the League One games played on the 10th and 12th of January, several key games have been identified – None more important than the Sheffield United v Preston North End game, which several teams within League One will be looking out for. If the Blades win, it will start to close the gap whereby sides hoping for the Play-Off will start to find it harder, if Preston North End win it keeps it wide open. * Important Game – **Key Game Saturday 10th January 2015 Barnsley v Yeovil – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-0) *Bradford v Rochdale – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-0) Bristol City v Notts County – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-1) **Chesterfield v Port Vale – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-1) Crawley v MK Dons – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-3) Crewe v Gillingham – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-0) *Leyton Orient v Fleetwood – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-1) *Oldham v Doncaster – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-0) *Peterborough v Colchester – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (3-0) **Sheff Utd v Preston – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-2) *Walsall v Scunthorpe – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-0) Monday 12th January 2015 *Coventry v Swindon – Kick Off 7:45pm – Score Prediction (0-3) My Stand-out Games Sheff Utd v Preston Crewe v Gillingham Bristol City v Notts County Bristol City could go back to top of the league temporarily with a win on Saturday until Swindon Town play on Monday who will be hoping to beat Coventry away from home. Crewe will be hoping to ease their relegation fears with a win against fellow strugglers Gillingham. Sheffield United's game against Preston North End gives the invitation for up to 6 sides to contest 6th place, with Chesterfield, Port Vale, Rochdale, Notts County, Peterborough and Fleetwood all in pursuit. With several top teams and bottom clubs playing each other this weekend, I can see teams shooting up the league or dropping down a few places. Thoughts on Bristol City v Notts County This week’s match is a tough one for us. Our current results against Bristol city have been poor especially away. Our last victory against them away came back in 2005 in the F.A Cup when we beat them 2–0. The overall head to head record slightly favours Bristol city also with them winning 41, us winning 38 and 22 draws. Since Bristol city came back down from the championship we have only picked up 1 point from the possible 9. I believe if we manage to get a point from the match we have done well, though that said I see us losing the match and I predict the final score to be 2-1 in their favour.
    9 points
  18. The Notts County Football Club Official Supporters’ Association are pleased to announce that they have made a substantial donation of much-needed equipment to the club’s Academy. Ahead of the start of the new season, the committee liaised with Academy director Peter Jarvis about what was needed to take the youth team to the next level. He highlighted the need for the Academy to adopt a video analysis system, which would enable two more jobs to be created to help film matches and give detailed feedback to both players and coaches. Jarvis said: “This is one area that we struggled in resourcing last season – the equipment would make a huge difference to the Academy and the support we can give to the players.” Following the consultation, the OSA duly dipped into their coffers and provided a cheque for the purchase of the appropriate equipment at a value of £765. This kind-hearted gesture is not a one-off – just five months ago the committee gave the Academy a cheque for £1,300 and, over the years, have raised a total of £1,800. The Association works hard throughout the year, both on-season and off-season, raising money through raffles, competitions and other fundraising initiatives. We spoke to OSA Membership Secretary Lois Brough who told us that the fundraising is beneficial both to the club and to the Academy’s youngsters. She said: “All fundraising is hard work but it is a way of getting to people who do not know of the work of the Academy and also supporters who do not realise the good work done by those running the Academy. “When I think of the footballers that have made it to the first team from the Academy I feel we must help these young ones achieve their dream. “Equipment is so expensive and we will do all we can to help them and we have very good and loyal supporters who willingly support us in this.” Lois also highlighted the importance of getting more fans on board with the Association, which would enable them to have a voice within the club and to make new friends. She said: “By joining the OSA Supporters have the chance to have their voice heard the chance to meet one another at events and also meet at the AGM. “I believe all renewals and welcome letters should have a personal message to each and every member, new and old. They will always receive a welcome when either visiting the office or emailing us.” “I hope that with all these new players coming to the club, our supporters can join with us at the OSA.” The OSA will be at the Open Day at Meadow Lane on 2nd August. If you want to donate money to go towards the Academy or join the Association, pop down and have a chat with the members. In addition the OSA is looking for prizes for the tombola, so if anyone has any please contact the Secretary by emailing Lois at secretary@ncfcosa.co.uk
    9 points
  19. Just four times this season Notts players and fans will head to away games for venues which will be new to all of us. In chronological order they are Morecambe’s Globe Arena; Wimbledon’s Kingsmeadow; Barnet’s Hive Stadium; and Newport’s Rodney Parade. I write my first contribution to these pages shortly before driving to Morecambe for the match on August Bank Holiday Saturday. It isn’t going to be the first time that Notts have played there but the two previous visits were to Christie Park, before the move to the Globe Arena in 2010. Who can ever forget the last visit, on 19 September 2009? Not because of the result, the Shrimps winning 2-1, but because it marked the one and only appearance in the famous Black and White of Sol Campbell who had won 73 caps – and been a rock in England’s defence – in a glittering career, chiefly with Arsenal and Spurs. I wonder how many Notts fans can truly say “I was there”? I first met Campbell on the day he signed, interviewing him in the Meadow Lane boardroom but spending much longer enjoying a fascinating private conversation. After his 90 minutes at Morecambe I asked for a second interview. The truth of the matter was that, though he’d used the time between signing and making his debut seeking to get fit, he by no means contributed an impressive debut display, which probably accounted for his reluctance to be interviewed. Eventually he agreed but seemed ill-at-ease and didn’t have much of interest to say. Three days later Campbell walked out of Meadow Lane and before the end of September his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. And a few days later he returned to Arsenal. I’ve often wondered since whether I should have read more into his post-match demeanor – did it signify he’d already made his decision to pack his bags? Campbell never made any secret about the fact that he’d largely been persuaded to sign by the Notts director of football, Sven-Goran Eriksson, the two of them having got close during their time together with England. Sven could never be drawn into discussing Campbell’s abrupt departure. In the match, Morecambe scored either side of half time with Jim Bentley getting the first in 36 minutes and Paul Mullin the second on 52 minutes. Not until the 71st minute did Ben Davies reduce the arrears but Notts failed to find an equaliser. It’s worth pointing out that the defeat put Notts eighth in League Two, with no hint they were going to storm to the title at the end of April with a brilliant 5-0 rout of Darlington at their Arena. So it was by no stretch of imagination a wholly convincing start to the 2009-10 campaign, though expectations were high after a spate of summer signings. Doesn’t that resonate with what’s happening right now, in the early days of 2015-16? Between 2009 and now the wheel has turned full circle for Jim Bentley. Then he scored. Now 39, he’s Morecambe’s manager, having been appointed in 2011. This article was written By Colin Slater, BBC Radio Nottingham, Notts County Correspondent. Colin Slater is our guest columnist on Pride of Nottingham, this is an exclusive piece. To discuss his article, visit the PON Forum by clicking here.
    9 points
  20. Recent results have certainly created a whole raft of opinions about whether the squad is good enough, whether the manager is good enough, is the system right and a lot more, but let’s have a look at where we are. Two seasons ago, we came into the National League in complete disarray and most of us were simply hoping we’d avoid successive relegations. We managed to get stronger as the season went on, making the playoff final (and I think we’d have had a chance of automatic promotion if the season hadn’t been curtailed). With more expectations last season we faltered badly after Christmas but got to the playoff semi-finals again. In both of those seasons, teams went up without having huge resources or expectations, in Barrow, Harrogate and Sutton. Hartlepool maybe had more expectation but were still not huge spenders. This season, Grimsby has made a great start after relegation and seem to be a contender at this early stage while we’ve all read and heard of the big spending Wrexham, Chesterfield and Stockport. Notts’ owners and management have said that we won’t be competing with big wages – and an example of that is when Ian Birchnall said Chesterfield blew us away with the deal they offered Calvin Miller. Wrexham have signed players from League One when their current clubs didn’t want them to go. When that happens, it puts into perspective what is on offer elsewhere. Notts have recruited technically good young players with a good academy background and the ability to play the type of football both owners and coach want to play. The idea is that with good coaching, they improve and not only progress Notts but also their own careers as we aim to sell them and make the club financially strong. All of that comes with a lot of advantages, but also some testing times. Young players make mistakes. In fairness, all players make mistakes, but younger ones lack the experience to handle certain situations as effectively as they can, such as the recent capitulations against Woking and Halifax where it was real ‘rabbits in the headlights’ stuff. When you play football from the back, it carries more risks. Even Barcelona and Manchester City have times where their goalkeeper passes it out to an opposing forward, so we should expect to see a non-League keeper (or, in the case of Patterson, a League One third choice keeper) doing the same. If we seek to play entertaining football, such as we saw at Barnet and in brief spells against Aldershot and Woking, we need to accept the other side. We saw with the return of Kyle Cameron at Yeovil how the defence seemed more composed, albeit still giving chances to a really poor side towards the end. Going back to those games against Woking and Halifax, let’s not forget that for around 75% of those two games we were in control and should have coasted towards victories. On that basis, it maybe isn’t a million miles away from being a winning team. The trick is to make those mistakes fewer and less costly. But we’ve had a spell where our goalkeeper and 3 central defenders have been injured, and most teams would struggle to cope with that, even with the loan players. One of the things Notts have struggled with recently is the results against teams in the bottom half. Take last season as an example. Notts did the double over champions Sutton but then lost to bottom-placed Dover (okay, results expunged, but the point still stands). And against teams who finished in the bottom half of the table, Notts had a record of 40 points from 21 games, with 5 defeats – a record of 1.9 points per game. In my opinion, this is where league titles are often lost, by dropping points in the games you should make the most of. So far this season – early as it is – Notts has 17 points from 7 games against teams in the bottom half with no defeats, a record of 2.4 points per game! And this is with what is almost universally acknowledged as a team that hasn’t clicked yet, so there’s lots more to come. So, what do Notts need? I think this squad plays better and it a bigger threat when playing 3 at the back and 2 wide men, as long as the wide men do their defensive duties as well. Playing with four at the back makes it feel as if we’re being outnumbered somehow. But a crucial part of that is working as a team and, just as importantly, keeping hold of the ball when we have it. Sometimes, players seem to give it away very easily and that invites pressure all the time. We have goals from all over the team, but I’d love to see someone playing with Kyle Wootton. He seems so alone at times, with no-one within 20 yards of him. Which is fine if he’s able to control the ball and lay it off, but how often does a ball come at an awkward height, or the defender is all over him? If we had someone alongside to pick up the pieces – as Rodrigues did towards the end of last season – it gives the opposing defence something extra to think about. Join the Pride of Nottingham in discussing what role you see Lewis Knight fulfilling in the upcoming season. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  21. Notts County's board of directors have taken the time to thank the black and white army for their support ahead of the 2021/2022 National League season. This comes on the back of the magpies' announcing via the clubs social media that over 3,000 season tickets had been sold on 23rd of July. Six new arrivals have been signed this summer, with the Notts head coach Ian Burchnall looking to add further depth to his squad ahead of the league campaign. "We would like to place on record our immense gratitude to our fans, a statement read via the official clubs' website. "For backing the club with such strong season ticket sales this summer. "Over the weekend, 2021-22 sales surpassed our total figure for the 2019-20 campaign – including half-season tickets. "Which is fantastic, especially as there is more than a month to go before our first home match. We also understand that, for various reasons, a season ticket isn’t a viable purchase for everyone, but we’re thrilled with how the entire fanbase continues to support us in every way possible. " Notts County season tickets are now on general sale, after fans' have taken to renewing their 2019/2020 - after a whole season without being able to buy a season ticket due to COVID-19. "Shirt sales, for example, have been very strong, and it’s been great to see so many of the new designs on show at our pre-season friendlies. "Everyone at the club is working hard to prepare for the new campaign, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Meadow Lane for what we hope and believe will be an exciting and successful season." You can secure your seat at Meadow Lane for the 2021/22 National League season here. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  22. Notts County's latest recruit Joel Taylor has expressed his delight with signing with the magpies'. The club returned to training this past Tuesday, with the squad heading back to Meadow Lane after a few weeks off at the end of the last campaign. The 25-year-old wing back praised the clubs training facilities and the playing surface, as preparation begins for their pre-season games. Speaking in relation to his first training session, Joel Taylor said: "I do like [the training facilities], "Very nice training ground, it's nice to play football." Before adding: "Yeah, I mean, in pre-season, I know, it's about getting fit and getting back to match fitness. But when you're doing it with the balls, it makes our session a lot more enjoyable than just running around a pitch and whatnot. "So with this gaffer we can see he likes to play. So a lot of the running is done with the balls, which again, all players love doing that. So with the ball is obviously the best thing." With a return to training, Taylor met his team-mates for the first time since signing with the club. "Yeah. I mean, I met with the lads yesterday when I signed. "Well the majority of them anyway, and yeah they seemed sound - just welcomed me into the group straight off. And I feel like a part of the group already. "I want to come here, help the team progress and get back to where they need to be, but ultimately within myself as well" He added. "Very, very, very excited. Like I said last season, I think we played a handful of games in front of fans. "So getting the fans back in especially at the Meadow Lane, where it's a big crowd. So yeah, I can't wait for the fans to come back in and play in front of them." Joel Taylor is expected to make his first appearance in a Notts County shirt, in Saturday's friendly against Coalville Town. Discuss Notts County's third summer signing, Joel Taylor with the fans' inside the Pride of Nottingham forum. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  23. Go on, hands up if you thought Kyle Wootton would turn out to be this good when Notts County signed him on loan from a struggling League Two side at the end of August? Granted, one of the things fans have constantly complained about is the lack of a big, strong target man. Someone who can hold the ball up, bring other players into the game, win the headers and generally lead the line in a way which helps the poachers like Kristian Dennis and Wes Thomas find the space to play their own game. At the point of signing him, Wootton had a League record of 15 goals in 101 games and 2 goals in 22 games on loan to Nation al League sides. Hardly the stuff to whet the appetite but that just shows how misleading statistics can be – especially when a lot of those appearances were from the bench. His full debut at home to a dour Solihull side which came to stifle the game, and did that superbly in a goalless draw, didn’t really give much of an idea. But away at Sutton United the following Saturday took your breath away. A wonderful all round performance capped with a fantastic goal gave huge hope that we might have the striker we’ve been waiting for since Jimmy Spencer. With 16 goals at around a goal every other game, he has certainly found the scoring touch as well as helping his colleagues – and let’s not forget that holding the ball can also take pressure of the defence and give them time to reorganise. It’s strange to think that when January came around, one of our fears was that we’d lose him as he was attracting the attention of League clubs. Thankfully, he settled so well at Notts and speaks so highly of the management that it appears that was never really likely as soon as we made our move to make him a Notts player rather than a loanee. I think that could turn out to be one of the best signings we could have made, because there are very few players around at this level who can do what he does and, if we are able to get back in the League, I have no doubts that he’ll do just as well in League Two. Another thing to consider is the amount of work he gets through. While Ardley likes to rotate his players, and rarely plays any of the others strikers twice in a week, Kyle Wootton hardly misses out and leads the line in a manner which shows far more maturity than his 23 years. I feel there is much more to come and am really looking forward to him being a major part of the club at least for the immediate future. One downside of performing well at a lower league club is that it’s difficult to hold on to them, so let’s enjoy him while he’s here. Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  24. What a contrast to our previous regimes. For all his rights and wrongs – and I think there were more rights over his tenure – Ray Trew found it difficult to stay away from social media and club message boards, often falling into the trap of over promising some new signing. He also seemed pretty keen to hit the fire button as the revolving door rarely slowed down on the manager’s office. Then, of course, we had the ego which took the club out of the league and almost out of existence, alienating our closest neighbours and making the club a laughing stock while retaining the trigger happy nature of hire and fire. What we needed is exactly what we have now – stability and a great relationship between owners and manager. They’re putting no pressure on Neal Ardley and that must be a great situation for him, allowing him and his staff to look on a longer term basis than most managers are allowed. In fact, they haven’t really said a lot at all, so maybe the things they haven’t said are quite interesting: - They’ve not shouted about any ‘game-changing’ new signings - They’ve not made outlandish predictions of where we’ll be in 5 years - They’ve not been critical of any other team or organisation - They’ve talked up how good we are They have: - Stayed in the background - Provided steady hands while bringing the club under control - Given good, honest answers in the few interviews they’ve done Of those rare interviews, they actually seem quite reluctant to garner publicity for themselves – how about that for club owners?! I enjoyed listening to them on Radio Red not so long ago. A half hour chat, thoughtful, constructive and a great insight into how they work. What I found interesting was that they seem to have a great relationship with Ardley and view changing the manager as a last resort. From studies they’ve done, they’ve identified that it often doesn’t work, so things will have to go pretty badly for the axe to fall, and that stability must be a better place for the club. So often you see a change of manager followed by wholesale changes in the squad. I’m a big believer that it takes a good 2 or 3 transfer windows before a manager can call the squad his own so unless it’s going badly wrong, give the guy time. Another thing we need to do, and it’s great that they are so open about it, is that the manager has to be willing to work with them, using data as part of the process to sign someone. We’ll probably never know how they do it, what info they look at, etc, but you know that some managers would rebel against that and class that as boardroom interference, so the manager needs to see this as a tool to help him. Brentford brought out a similar process a while ago and Mark Warburton immediately announced he would leave the club, although he did see out the season. When Leicester City won the Premier League, 2 of their best players were Mahrez and Kante, plucked from Le Havre and Caen respectively. I remember reading that both players came onto their radar because of data they’d used – how far they ran during games, how many tackles, etc. That was followed up by watching them play, but it wasn’t just a gut instinct, as so much recruitment seems to be. In fact, I can see this being the way things move in the future and I’m certain the big clubs use this and have been for some time. We’re lucky to have these guys in charge and I hope they stay a good long time. It could be a real success story of how we appeared to be on the brink of liquidation and ended up with a stable, successful club. You never know, it could be a blueprint for other clubs to follow. Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  25. How does it feel losing the World's Oldest Football League club tag? I, like many other Notts County fans, were dreading the thought of losing the title of world’s oldest professional league football club during last season and at times I was more concerned about this than us actually playing in non-league, but what has it actually meant to us? I always saw it as our biggest selling point and I suppose it had a major part to play in the Munto takeover, a takeover that did not make everyone happy, but I certainly thought it was great at the time as it was the stuff of dreams, which ultimately it turned out to be, just a dream. Excluding Munto, I cannot really say that the title did much for us as a selling point, even though I still expected it to be, but when no real big money buyers took us over, it came as a bit of a surprise to me. I always expected major investment as I see us as a good acquisition, of course providing any investors had the means to plough a fair chunk of change at taking us back up the leagues. I am certainly grateful to all the previous owners putting their money in, but I still feel we are a bigger club that the one languishing around the lower leagues and the facts of modern day football mean clubs almost certainly have to spend the money to gain success. I wonder if the title provided us with more appeal to players and sponsors, again although someone inside the club may say different, from an outside perspective I did not really see it. How does it feel losing the title now, especially seeing as it seems the title has gone to our neighbours over the water, is this all too much for us to take? Well, I believe not, perhaps helped by the fact they won some cup or other some while back and that still seems to have some mileage left in the tank, or maybe it is the fact that when (not if) we do make a return to the Football League, people may still recognise that we were one of the founder members of the professional league and that will always be part of our history, whether we are in the football league or not. I am certainly proud of our heritage and I do not think it is something that many football fans will forget, especially as it is such a popular question in television quiz shows, but perhaps this question will now be changed? If so I will be having words with Bradley Walsh! I am certain my fears were worse than the reality of it, which can only be a good thing. Football seems to be in somewhat of a transition period with new rules and technology constantly being brought in; it certainly has changed a lot since my first Notts game in 1991 against Liverpool at home, certainly a life changing moment for me personally. I will never forget our history and after doing a stadium tour with the great Les Bradd, I would recommend that all the new generations of Notts fans do the same, it is good to remind ourselves where we came from and of that I will always be proud. Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  26. As a 49-year supporter of Notts County Football Club, you’ll appreciate that over the years, I’ve seen managers come in to this club; and I’ve seen managers go! Truth is, with our past record, if you’ve been a Notts supporter for more than five minutes, you’ll probably have seen your fair share, too! However, having thoroughly enjoyed the ‘stability’ brought to the club over the past 18 months, and all that’s come with it, I openly admit to being more-than slightly phased that anyone’s thinking (or believing) we should start again on the “Gaffer-Merry-Go-Round”! After all, it’s ‘worked’ so well for us, in the past, hasn’t it?! So, I’ll admit here and now, that the cries of “Nolan Out!” - from some of our supporters in this “results-today-results-tomorrow-results-results-results” World of football - just fills me with dread! Seeing quotes too, of “eight wins in eight months” - which of course, takes in the summer recess and no account of incoming new players – and “#OutByChristmas” another, almost gleeful, mantra from a fan, slightly throw me! As well, there are those fans – many of them – who give absolutely no credit whatever for all that was achieved by Nolan taking on a ‘team’ losing ten-on-the-trot to playoffs, with their #lookhowfarwevecome chides. I can fully understand, as a supporter, being ‘concerned’ that the summer spend hasn’t yet seen our players, with anything ‘real’ to come out ‘fighting’ like other teams have. I can understand too, that the dreadful debacle of last Friday night, despite seeing some FANTASTIC initial play in the first 20 minutes, has left folk ‘worried’. I also ‘get’ too, that everyone wants to see good results and be part of a winning club! WHAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND is that with so many new players in the side, so many new options of play and the understanding, time and practice necessary for everything to ‘gel’ – even though some people forget KN’s NOT yet had a fully fit side since pre-season – why there would be any calls for him to go? With KN’s commitment to the club of moving his family here to a newly-bought home locally, I doubt he’d have done that if he’d hadn’t seen a long-term career with Notts. Additionally, it’s clear that he, AH, DF and the Board have an excellent, professional relationship that, to me, sees a clear, shared vision for our club over the next five years. And whilst it’s been made plain by AH that he wants promotion this season, is and can that now be an option, when there are such huge, gaping holes in our defence that need to be plugged? Forty-nine years has taught me to be patient. Very patient. And I certainly don’t want ‘promotion this year, only to come down next’ simply because, I believe there are solid foundations here to be built, first. And, we’re far from there, just Y-E-T! What was clear from Friday, is that when these players do gel and get it together, we’re going to experience edge-of-the-seat football, that’s long-missing at Meadow Lane… and I’m excited for it. In conclusion then, I’m a huge “Nolan IN” fan. Truthfully, I’m not even wanting to just ‘give it ten games’ either because I’m mindful of the fact that it took a Sir Alex Ferguson, to go from 11th/11th/facing the sack-F.A. Cup Winner over three seasons, before he even started to look like the Super-Manager, he became. And I believe KN CAN DO IT for us, so like all good things, I’m prepared to wait. COYP! Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    8 points
  27. Tommy Johnson, born in Gateshead on 15 January 1971, knew he wanted to play for Notts County from his first trial at the club as a teenager. In a 2013 interview at the annual Notts County Former Players' Association dinner, where he was presented with an Achievement award, he spoke of how he fell in love with the Magpies. “I was 13 and I came down for trials and the first training session was with Jimmy Sirrel and that was the sort of club it was,” he said. “All the players made you feel so welcome and, although my family wanted me to stay at home and play for Newcastle, I knew I wanted to play here and I’ve been here ever since. “My time here was great and I couldn’t have had a better start to my career.” Johnson joined Notts in 1987 as an apprentice after leaving school and such was his talent that he was a first-team regular by the end of the decade. His prolific goalscoring helped Notts climb from the third tier to the First Division between 1989 and 1991, and in total he scored 57 goals in 149 appearances. In 1992, Johnson left Meadow Lane and moved down a division to Derby County in a £1.3m deal. His time at the Rams was fruitful as he claimed 30 goals in 58 appearances, but two playoff defeats in three seasons later, he decided to up sticks again, joining Aston Villa in 1995 and making his debut in the Premier League. Johnson's future at the highest level looked promising as he scored four goals in 14 league games to help Villa stay in the Premier League. However, he found his first-team opportunities limited as manager Brian Little signed Serbian striker Savo Milosevic, and Dwight Yorke was converted from a winger to a striker. In 1996–97, Johnson was still unable to displace Yorke or Milosevic, managing just 20 league games and four goals, before he joined Scottish giants Celtic for £2.4mi on 27 March 1997 – transfer deadline day. Despite seeing his career at Parkhead plagued by injury, he enjoyed some success at the club, including scoring the goal that won the 2000–01 Scottish Premier League title, and scoring in the 2000 Scottish League Cup final win over Aberdeen. He had also collected a title medal in 1997–98. At Celtic, he played under managers Wim Jansen, Jozef Venglos, John Barnes, Kenny Dalglish and finally Martin O'Neill, but managed just 35 league games and scored 18 goals. During his time at Celtic, Johnson was briefly loaned out to Everton in the autumn of 1999, where he played three times in the Premier League but failed to score. A brief spell at Sheffield Wednesday followed before Johnson joined Kilmarnock and then Gillingham in December 2001. After two seasons at Gillingham, Johnson joined Sheffield United but only made one appearance there before moving on to Scunthorpe United. During his time at the Iron he was loaned out to Tamworth, finally joining them on a permanent contract and staying there until the summer of 2006, when he joined Midland Football Alliance club Rocester. After hanging up his boots, Johnson went into coaching and ended up rejoining Notts as part of the coaching staff under the management of Ian McParland on 1 November 2007, where he stayed until 2011. Following on from his coaching spell at Meadow Lane, he worked at the Irish Football Association as a scout between January 2012 and August 2013, before a spell as Senior Overseas Scout at Cardiff City. Johnson then became a coach educator for UEFA A and B licences at the IFA before taking a job as the head of player recruitment at Blackburn Rovers, where he continues to work today. Share your thoughts about this Notts Alumni feature on Tommy Johnson 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.
    8 points
  28. As the oldest Football League club in existence, Notts County have not only created history of their own, but they've also played a part in the history of other clubs. By now all Notts fans will be well aware of the connection between the Magpies and Juventus, thanks to Nottingham man Tom Gordon Savage's procurement of shirts with black and white vertical stripes when he lived in Turin back in 1903. But with Tottenham Hotspur saying goodbye to White Hart Lane this season as they prepare to move - via Wembley - to a brand new stadium, the focus has very much been on the now-dismantled ground's history. And sure enough, Notts crop up there too, as they were the very first team to play against Spurs at White Hart Lane in the final year of the 19th century. Logan Holmes of Spurs fansite Hotspur HQ writes: "On 4 September 1899, Tottenham played a friendly game against Notts County to mark the opening of their new ground. They have continued to play there ever since. "The First Division club were the first visitors and 5,000 spectators were present. Notts took the lead through an own goal. Spurs inside right, Tom Pratt, brought them level by half-time and after the interval centre forward David Copeland completed a hat-trick, although for the last two goals County had been reduced to ten men as their goalkeeper was injured. County’s centre half, Walter Bull, who went in to goal, was to join Tottenham five years later. "At that time the ground wasn’t known as White Hart Lane. It was only after the 1st World War that it took on that name. Before then it had been called ‘The High Road Ground’, although the club had favoured ‘Percy Park’ after Sir Henry Percy – Harry Hotspur. "Prior to 1899 Tottenham had played at their Northumberland Park ground, having moved there in 1888 after originally playing their matches on Tottenham Marshes." 118 years later, White Hart Lane would host its final game as Spurs clinched a 2-1 win over the mighty Manchester United on 14 May 2017, dominating from start to finish. And with the history of the ground the main focus of the day, Spurs had created special corner flags which boasted information of the first and last game at the Lane - one saying "14th May 2017" and featuring the Spurs and Man United badges, and the other saying "4th September 1899" and featuring the Spurs and Notts badges, with "To Dare Is To Do" written at the bottom of both. Another historic White Hart Lane clash between the two teams took place on 10 March 1991, when Spurs hosted Notts in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The Magpies put their opponents to the sword, Don O'Riordan putting the visitors ahead with a sensational rocket from outside the box and Mark Draper bossing the midfield to the point that he was upstaging a certain England international by the name of Paul Gascoigne - you may have heard of him. However, Spurs came out invigorated in the second half as Craig Short deflected Nayim's effort into his own net, before Gascoigne - who should have been sent off after elbowing Paul Harding in the face, leaving him with a black eye - struck a clinical shot into the far corner with just seven minutes left in the game. O'Riordan, scorer of County's superb first goal in that tie, paid a visit to White Hart Lane on the Monday to reminisce about his memories of the stadium. He wrote: "Wonderful memories visiting White Hart Lane. Sadly couldn't get on the pitch to take a photo of the goal I scored in during the quarter final in 1991. "Met two Spurs fans who supported the club for 35+ years and they remembered the goal which was amazing and agreed Gazza should have been red carded lol. "Has to be one of the biggest highlights of my career. Funny the lads even knew the first Tottenham game in their history (at White Hart Lane) was against Notts." He then talked about what happened the day after the match: "After we lost at Spurs, Neil (Warnock) had us in next day that was normally a rest day but he told the YTS lads to tell us to make sure we had our kit and trainers on. "This normally would mean a running session but we ended up in the sponsors lounge and Neil and Mick Jones brought 2 cases of beer for us to consume and he said we can make Wembley again win promotion and sample the Spurs atmosphere every week in the 1st Division. "We looked at each other and had another drink and wondered what he was on about but how could we doubt this guy. Sure enough we beat Brighton (in the playoffs) and the rest as we all know is history." As Spurs wave goodbye to their home for 118 years and prepare to create new history, it's nice to know that Notts have played a part in some of it - and that clubs continue to pay tribute to us. 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.
    8 points
  29. Is the Hardy Era the Real Deal? In the summer of 2009 I received a text message from my dad informing me that BBC Radio Nottingham had just reported that a Middle Eastern consortium were close to completing the purchase of my beloved Notts County Football Club. What followed was numerous statements of intent which included the record breaking signing of Kasper Schmeichel, the unveiling of Sven Goran Eriksson as Director of Football and promises of Premier League football within five years. We dared to dream. And that we did – in abundance. We waved £20 notes in the faces of visiting supporters, we sang Sven's name from the Kop and we followed in massive numbers all over the country. What a difference to the 2008/09 season which saw us graced with a strike partnership of Sean Canham and Spencer Weir-Daley. It was a pipe dream which of course, turned into a worldwide talking point – for all the wrong reasons. In between now and the collapse of Munto Finance was the ‘Trew Era’. What started so positively ended so badly. As Notts Fans, I think the vast majority believed that Ray Trew always had the best of intentions for our club – he put his hand in his pocket, he provided managers with big budgets and always promised the world to his supporters. Is this what we needed? Did we need big promises of Premiership strikers? Championship football? This, that and the other? Its difficult to envisage what the reaction of our growing fan base at the time would have been if Trew would have earmarked his intentions as stabilising and steady business growth instead of making unrealistic promises which ultimately, he failed to deliver. His stubbornness to hire proven managers proved to be his ultimate stumbling block – especially towards the end of his tenure – with appointments of novices Chris Kiwomya, Shaun Derry and Ricardo Moniz eventually saw us relegated back to where 2009 all began. By the time of Moniz's sacking, Notts fans had very little patience left and Trew's ‘Football Manager Dream’ was very close to being in tatters. Then without doubt – the final nail in the coffin had well and truly been smashed in – in the form of Jamie Fullarton – the less said about that the better. Mark Cooper and John Sheridan were arguably the best options available at this point but the underlying issue was clear – the problems were higher up the food chain. Then welcome Mr Alan Hardy. What a transformation you have made to our football club. Within weeks, Hardy recognised what would make our football club start ticking again. The Fans! He understands what as football fans, we all want – honesty, transparency, desire, passion, communication and most importantly of all; a clearly set out, aligned and carefully structured direction to take this football club forwards again. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise what Alan Hardy’s intentions are. Do things the right way, put energy into the community, grassroots, give the fans what they really want and start forming a relationship between the product and its customers. The reaction from not just Notts fans, but the community as a whole has been remarkable. Our average attendance under Alan has doubled already under his tenure and the team have responded magnificently, albeit to coincide with brilliant match day offers. Most importantly however, we feel proud to be fans of Notts County again. Alan Hardy has engaged in a way to build trust with the fans. He has been transparent. He hasn’t promised big money signings, he hasn’t promised Championship football. What he has done, he has engaged in a way that has been passionate but honest and realistic. He has identified the need to get the fans back through the gates which is what ultimately, matters most. Currently, everything is positive; second form team in the division, unbeaten home record, heart and desire being shown from the top down to the players, free pies, reduced match day tickets and a new vibrant and positive match day experience. That’s been achieved by simple communication, listening and gaining a mutual respect with the supporters. However, It’s crucial that we stay grounded, and remember that football can change ever so quickly, and live in hope, that when the road becomes bumpy, which it will, we remain strong, united and continue to pull in the same direction. Hardy has created a real buzz - we are excited to not just go to Meadow Lane, but to travel away in numbers, to have a feeling of not crumbling when the first goal goes against us, to see heart and fight from the touchline and the players again, is a joy to behold. That touchline fight of course comes from one man. Welcome to Notts County Kevin Nolan. Nolan and Hardy clearly have an aligned approach on how to take this football club forward. The unity that has been created in such a short amount of time has been breath-taking. Forget the CV’s. Forget management experience. Forget past promotions. When you have a man in your corner that demands respect, loyalty, trust, effort and a real desire to fight for this football club – the rest is easy. We are a League Two outfit. We don’t need a Jose Mourinho on the touchline, we need someone that understands what makes our team tick and what the fans really want. Alan Hardy identified the type of character to take this club forward immediately and has got his first appointment absolutely spot on. The past five years have been tough, loyalties have been tested, patience has ran thin, but the future looks bright. The future looks exciting again, and finally, once again, its time to start being proud to be a Notts County fan. See you all at Stevenage – COYP. Share your thoughts about this Notts County feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat.
    8 points
  30. Finally, FINALLY, Notts County’s wretched season of 2015-16 has come to an end. Finally, we can consign one of our worst, most embarrassing and most mentally draining campaigns to the dustbin of history. But where do we go from here? I had actually felt somewhat guilty after posting my previous column, where I had longed for the season to be over, but I then found out that a lot of people shared my views. And when I say a lot of people, I mean virtually everyone I’ve spoken to at and around Meadow Lane, in the street and online. They ALL wanted this season over and done with. Just over a month ago I flat out refused to come to Meadow Lane to watch Notts play Exeter in what turned out to be Jamie Fullarton’s last game in charge – good job I didn’t, because it ended 4-1 to the Grecians. This brief mini-boycott came to an end just a week later when Fullarton’s brief reign came to an end and Mark Cooper came in his place, and indeed things turned round on the pitch, our fight against relegation ending in a positive note. After safety was assured, however, it all fell apart again. We went from an upturn in form, which yielded two draws – including against champions, Northampton – and two wins, to losing three on the bounce and conceding 10 on the way, though a win against Newport seemed to somewhat alleviate the pain in the same manner paracetamol will stop a gunshot wound from hurting. And then came the crowning moment to the whole farcical affair – the final game of the season against Carlisle United, which began under a bright blue sky and gorgeous hot weather, soon turned to clouds both above the pitch and on it. It should have been a game of redemption where Notts ended the season on a high and secured either a draw or a win to officially crown Cooper as permanent manager. This being Notts, of course, it had to go wrong. Cooper was heavily linked to the Forest Green Rovers – a team that, at the time of writing, was still in non-league – before the game, with both sources in Gloucestershire and our own Colin Slater saying he had opted to turn his back on the whole “points target” malark for something more stable and less farcical. Indeed, the Magpies gave one of the worst performances of the season against the Cumbrian side, managed by Keith Curle – yet another of our ex-managers who has got a fair measure of revenge this season – the result of which was a 5-0 defeat. And then, almost as perfectly timed as Earl Hebner’s scampering from the Montreal Screwjob (if you’re not a wrestling fan, Google it) or Craig Joubert’s sprint away from the pitch when Scotland were knocked out by Australia in the Rugby World Cup, so was Meadow Lane a shrinking object in Cooper’s wing mirror – he had bailed out on Notts no sooner the season was wrapped up. So, here we are then. The 2015-16 season has come to an end, and I’m feeling like I’ve just done 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. I’m sure many fans will be feeling similar. At the very least, is the future bright? Is it hell. We have no manager, we have an owner who wants to sell but, following a plethora of mixed messages in the media, seems no closer to do so, and we are lumbered with a load of players on two-year deals who seem to be just as disillusioned with the whole farce as us fans. Let me ask you this, fellow Notts fans – over the last three seasons, how often have you actually felt like things were actually going well, either on the pitch or off? I can pinpoint to a handful of moments at most – the Liverpool game, the Great Escape, the five-game winning run in October 2014, the 2015 off-season, the Aston Villa game, and securing safety this season. Out of about three years, we’re talking a total of three weeks, while the rest has been virtually all bad. This season, in my opinion, has been the worst of the lot, bearing in mind the expectations we had at the start. Just being consigned to this pathetic division is bad enough, but when we’re getting turned over by teams whose stadiums still have standing areas, who up until a few seasons ago were semi-professional non-league nobodies, whose badge features a PRAWN, then you know you’ve plumbed the deepest depths the likes of which you would need concrete shoes to reach. Add to that being humiliated by a non-league side on national television, losing twice to your local rivals, falling to a record defeat against said local rivals, and all the chaos behind the scenes, and you have the perfect recipe for pretty much the worst season in recent memory – and Notts have had plenty of candidates since the turn of the century. The other week, Cooper banished Liam Noble away from Meadow Lane and said he will deal with him when he feels like it. Now he won’t have to. Us Notts fans haven’t got either of those luxuries, to either postpone the murky tasks or escape them altogether – once the season is over, it’ll be three months before we have to tune in again for another 46+ games. The reality is that increasing numbers of fans are choosing not to deal with it anymore and are sacking it off. They won’t get season tickets. They are ignoring their heart, which tells them to support Notts through and through, and using their head, which is telling them not to bother anymore because of the heartache, grief, and wasted time and money. In day to day life, relationships – in business, in love, in family, and whatever else – have their ups and downs, and people must take the rough with the smooth, but if the relationship isn’t going anywhere, if one party isn’t pulling their weight or, god forbid, if one party is abusive, then the other party is more than entitled to stop giving their other half any more chances and depart, never to look back. If Notts County want to ensure that fans don’t abandon the club – which, as “sinful” as it is in the world of football, drastic times call for drastic measures – they need to make sure the relationship is fruitful, is going in the right direction, and isn’t abusive. So for the sake of thousands of long suffering fans, Notts County, STOP MESSING US AROUND AND GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. Do you agree with Joe Jones' rantings? Share your thoughts on the Pride of Nottingham forum.
    8 points
  31. As many of you have realised, the Pride of Nottingham website has undergone a vast revamp. Not only has the layout completely changed, but its functions have also been improved. In this article, site webmaster Notts Joe discusses the changes made to PON. So when you click on the site, it looks completely different. Why did you change it? With the original PON page, that was effectively the first site I created for the purpose of supporting Notts. The old site had things about it which frustrated me, both as a member and as a webmaster. So I decided that using available options to me, would improve things, whilst the experience for everyone overall would be far better. The expertise I gained within a number of few years is very useful when it comes to this. It’s built on the same foundations as the original site – things like a forum, articles and so on – but this is so much more up to date, functional, attractive and just more of a pleasure as both admin and user. What exactly is new compared to the old site? The homepage is totally new, it's more modern and stylish. If you prefer a more tradition view of articles, it's covered by adding /home/ to the main domain and I like that. The community section is clearer, features are far more obvious and the design is completely new. There are several features, such as the way members can find our content which is completely new – like the activity stream which replaces our former 'live centre'. How is it better for visitors and fans? With the improvements, it allows PON to make use of even better web principles and in turn this allows me to not only speed our server up but it enables us to offer much more. Overall, it gives us the foundation to move forward and better serve the Notts fan base. And on a personal level, I just feel that how clean and tidy it looks is far better than the old site and, combined with the speed increase, it makes for a much better experience for users and visitors of the site.
    8 points
  32. The Football League’s Stand Up & Be Counted campaign saw fans of English clubs below the Premier League vote in droves to try and get their team to the top of the rankings – and be in with a chance of winning a trip to England to watch their club in action. Much to the surprise of clubs unaware of our amazing support all across the world, Notts steadily climbed up the table and entrenched themselves at the summit – at no point did they look like relinquishing top spot. Today the polls closed and the results were finally confirmed – out of all the clubs in the country outside the Premier League, including a number of champions of England and even Europe, the title belonged to the Magpies. Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Preston North End, Derby County and, sweetest of all, Nottingham Forest – all pale in comparison to Notts in terms of global fanbase. Pride of Nottingham played its part in the Magpies’ no. 1 finish, by promoting the competition time and time again, and mobilising all of the international fan groups to spread the word and get voting – and it has paid dividends, showing just what a well-supported and historic club Notts is. Stars of County’s table-topping achievement are without a doubt the Italian Magpies, who contributed 3502 votes out of the total of 6359 cast for us. We spoke to Giorgio Zunino, the leader of the Italian Magpies, about the marvellous achievement. Q) How active were you and the Italian Magpies with regards to campaigning for the Stand Up & Be Counted’ campaign? A) We tried to involve as many people as possible to vote for the Magpies. We focused on the challenge to prove that the Italian Magpies are always interested in Notts County's activities. Our goal was initially to be the first supporters’ group. Q) More than 3500 Italian-based Notts fan voted, this achieved the highest amount. Are you surprised how high it is? Do you feel the Italian Magpies and Juve connection helped? What are your personal thoughts to this? A) The result is really high, unbelievable. Also because we have "just" 3.000 likes on Facebook. We tried our best talking about the link between Notts and Juventus to make people conscious of the need to vote and to make them proud to push the black and white higher and higher. We gave updates day by day to supervise the situation. We asked people to vote both for Notts County, both for the Italian Magpies as we strongly wanted to be the first supporters. It was great to see how many votes come from Italy. I though no other team received so many votes from just one country. The Juve connection was fundamental! An English guy we know talked to every Italian friend and spread the word to keep a lot of votes. At the beginning I was just focused on make Notts County arrive in the Top 10. It was quite impossible to get the first three places. And would have been ok as we challenged very big teams! I wanted the Italians to overtake the Hungarians. And when we did it was great. Then we really started to climb up the table. We were third and the two teams ahead lost many many votes due to the reuse of email addresses (they've probably voted more than once with the same email or the same IP). We were finally close to the peak! 3) After the announcements broke regarding Notts having won, what was your reaction and what do you feel this achievement represents to a club like Notts? A) I am proud for what we did as a great family. There were many moments when other team's votes were growing and we pushed firmly on our call of duty. I am proud for our group and proud to see "Italy" on top of the countries. I really hope somebody from the Italian Magpies will win the final prize. I think is really amazing for the club to prove that is more known and supported than Championship clubs. But I think this could be just the beginning and more has to be done, in particular for the fans abroad that've showed this unbelievable support! One lucky overseas Magpies follower will be rewarded with a special prize on Monday, which will be announced by the club. A total of over 52,000 supporters from around the globe took part in the initiative, with at least one fan registered in 247 different territories. Join the discussion within our community forum - Here | Discuss this feature below.
    8 points
  33. When I found out that Basford United Football Club would be hosting an exhibition clash between some of the greatest names to have played for Nottingham Forest and Notts County in recent years, in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK, I cleared all my plans on Sunday October 12 and made a date for Greenwich Avenue. The chance to see some classic players, the chance to renew a local rivalry that is becoming staler by the day, and best of all, raise some money for a good cause? Sign me up for Destination Basford! Come the day, I thought to myself that if I left at around 12:15pm I could get there in about half an hour, and because the route appeared pretty straightforward on Google Maps, I decided against bringing a satnav or even a map. So, it’s 1:30pm, and after having driven into Bulwell, Aspley and possibly Arnold, and of course having had Notts Joe be the Kit to my David Hasselhoff and guide me by phone – with mixed results – I parked up by this pub called The Mill, which happened to be close enough to BUFC’s ground that NJ could come and pick me up! Note to self – make sure you know in future how to actually get to a destination instead of somewhere in the vicinity before hoping for the best! So anyway, once parked up at the ground, a quick chip cob to replenish the hunger built up by over an hour of useless driving, and we were on our way. We spent the following half hour or so taking pictures of the ground, the pitch, the fans and the players, who were warming up on the pitch. It mattered little that I arrived with little time to spare, because kickoff ended up being delayed by about 25 minutes. The honest assessment of the announcer: “We’re still waiting for some players to show up!” Clearly I’m not the only one who failed to pack a satnav. Eventually, it was time for business, and once both teams were fully on the pitch, including the likes of Jason Lee, Mark Stallard and Nigel Jemson, the referee kicked off the game. The match began in a somewhat cagey manner, with the Magpies on the front foot, getting several chances in early on against Forest Legends keeper Darren Heyes, which is just as well because his Notts counterpart didn’t have any gloves at this stage. Attempts were made to lend him a pair of gardening gloves and some marigolds, before eventually deciding on a pair of motorcycle gloves. It wasn’t long before the Magpies broke the deadlock, but Forest countered in spectacular fashion, a 30-yard howitzer bursting the Notts net just a minute later. Little matter, because Chris Freestone struck midway through the first half to give us the lead again, with another goal being added before half time. At the break, it was Forest 1 – 3 Notts. The second half then became a bit of a free-for-all, as goals kept flying in every which way, to the point that Notts were leading 6-2. When I say a free-for-all, I’m not referring just to goals, but also to the amount of players on the pitch, as Notts saw two men sent off, while the Reds had 12 men on the pitch at one point! With the odds ever so slightly weighed in Forest’s favour, they were able to come back to within a goal of Notts, but some stout defending by the Black and Whites right at the death proved enough to end the match with an impressive 6-5 win! Once the match was over - and bragging rights were secured - the PoN Squad then proceeded to interview a myriad of people at the ground, including ex-players Jason Lee and Mark Stallard, cricketer Luke Fletcher, the match co-commentator, and Basford United owner Chris Munroe. All those interviewed had great things to say about the event, the planning, the turnout, the game itself, and of course, the charitable element, with a view to more similar events taking place in the future at Greenwich Avenue. All in all, a fantastic day, and before I forget, I'd like to give a shoutout to the Curry Lounge, who donated vast amounts of curry, rice and naan breads, and made for a marvellous slap-up post-match (and post-press duties) meal! Thank you to all involved for such a brilliant occasion, and long may it continue - looking forward to more events in the future!
    8 points
  34. Notts County and Coventry City have been playing one another on and off since 1920, although due to both sides see-sawing between divisions for many years, there were often long gaps of a number of years between games. This Saturday will see the 36th meeting between the two sides. The Magpies have the upper hand over the years, with 17 wins to the Sky Blues’ 11. There have also been 7 draws between the sides. Notts have scored 56 goals against the Sky Blues, while they have netted 49 against us. The very first meeting between the two clubs took place on 6th November 1920 at Meadow Lane in Division 2. The game ended in a 1-1 draw – Billy McLeod scoring the Notts goal. The following weekend Notts made their first ever trip to Coventry’s Highfield Road stadium, and the match again ended in a 1-1 draw with Sam Richards scoring for Notts. It wasn’t until 22nd April 1922 that there was a winner in a game between the two sides – Coventry winning 4-2 at Highfield road. But Notts got revenge the following season by doing the double over the Sky Blues on their way to the Division 2 title. Notts won 2-1 at Highfield Road on the opening day of the 1922-23 season – Harold Hill scoring both the visitors goals. Notts then won the reverse fixture at Meadow Lane a week later 2-0, with goals from Horace Cope and Jack Cook. With County winning promotion to Division 1 that season, there would not be another league meeting between the sides for 8 years, although in 1925 they did meet for the one and only time in the FA Cup – Notts winning 2-0 at Highfield Road in the first round on 10th January 1925 – thanks to goals from Donald Cock and Arthur Davis. The two sides got back to playing each other in the league in 1930, in the Division Three South. On 21st March 1936, Coventry racked up their biggest ever win over Notts with a 5-1 victory at Highfield Road on their way to the league title. They finished 1 point clear of Luton Town, 2 clear of 3rd placed Reading and 4 clear of 4th placed QPR, scoring 102 goals over the season. The two would not meet again until the opening day of the 1950-51 Division 2 season, when Coventry picked up their first win at Meadow Lane with a 2-0 win. But Notts got their revenge at Highfield Road on 16th December, with the legendary Tommy Lawton scoring a brace in a 2-1 win. Notts did the double over City again in 1951-52 as City finished second bottom of Division 2 and were relegated, leaving another 9 year gap before the sides met again, by now both in Divison 3. They enjoyed a busy Christmas in 1960, facing each other on consecutive days. The first meeting was on Boxing Day at Highfield Road and ended in a 2-2 draw – Notts goals coming from Roy Horobin and Bobby Forrest. The following day at Meadow Lane, County won 3-0 – with goals from Gerry Carver, a Don Roby penalty (Roby went on to play for Derby County later that season, one for you super_ram), and an Austin own goal. The 1963-64 Division Three season was one of complete contrast for both sides. The Sky Blues finished top of the league, equal on 60 points with Crystal Palace but they won the league thanks to their haul of 98 goals. Notts on the other hand finished bottom of the league having conceded 92. Amazingly this was not the worst defensive record of the season – that honour went to second bottom Wrexham, who conceded 107 goals! City did the double over Notts with a 3-0 win at Meadow Lane and a 2-0 win at Highfield Road. Again, there was a 14 year wait before the sides met again in Division 1. Notts won both meetings in 81-82, and they racked up their biggest win over City on 16th February, with a 5-1 win at Highfield Road – the goals coming from Mark Goodwin, Rachid Harkouk, Gordon Mair, Trevor Christie and John Chiedozie (who also went on to play for Derby). They repeated the score-line the following season at Meadow Lane on their way to a second successive 15th place finish in Division 1. This time Justin Fashanu scored 2 goals, and the other 3 game from Aki Lagtinen, Iain McCulloch and Paul Hooks. On 14th September 1991, Notts visited Highfield Road for what turned out to be the last time, and suffered a 1-0 defeat on their way to relegation from Division 1. Notts’ 1-0 win at Meadow Lane in April 1992 turned out to be the last meeting between the sides for 16 years, before league 2 Notts visited Championship Coventry’s Ricoh Arena for the first time in the first round of the League Cup in 2007 – City winning 3-0. Last season saw the first league meetings between the sides in 20 years, with goals from Yoann Arquin and Andre Boucaud helping us to our first win at the Ricoh. The final game of the season ended in a 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane. When the two sides met at Sixfields back in November, City won 3-0, and in truth we were lucky it was only 3-0. Since then however, things have changed, and we're a much tougher proposition who won't simply roll over. Both of us have been involved in some high scoring games this season, here's hoping Notts can avenge the Sixfields slaughter of November and gain 3 massive points on Saturday. COYP!
    8 points
  35. And so our hoodoo against Walsall at Meadow Lane continues, although it didn't have to be in such unfortunate and controversial circumstances. After making a poor start and conceding a goal early on, Garry Thompson pulled it back, only to then lose it when a penalty that shouldn't have been was conceded and duly converted by the Saddlers to secure a 2-1 win. The game began in lively fashion when Tom Bradshaw found himself nearly put through on goal after just four minutes, but the move was aborted for offside. Moments later, Haydn Hollis flicked the ball towards Michael Petrasso, who found his header saved. Stephen McLaughlin and Liam Noble added several more chances in the ensuing minutes, but sadly, the deadlock would be broken by the visitors when Gary Jones accidentally put the ball into his own net. In the 26th minute, Thompson threatened when his shot forced a save out of Richard O'Donnell, but he went one better just after the half-hour mark when McLaughlin's ball into the box was converted by the former Scunthorpe and Bradford man. The Walsall keeper then did his best impression of Manuel Neuer when, on 37 minutes, he ran out of his box and headed the ball away. Towards the latter stages of the first half, the game heated up as both teams registered several good chances, but ultimately, the break whistle blew on a 1-1 draw. Walsall were on top in the early stages of the second period, but the manner in which they went back into the lead was contentious, as Hollis was judged to have handled in the penalty box, despite being just out. Nevertheless, the referee, whose display in charge had been a bit iffy at best until that point, gave the spot kick, and Tom Bradshaw duly tucked the ball into the bottom corner. The Magpies struggled to impose themselves back into the game after that, and after a few limp chances towards the end of the match, the final whistle signaled an end to the contest and to Notts County's unbeaten run.
    8 points
  36. Ai ai ai. Not a good day at the office by any means tonight. Swindon Town were just too rampant for Notts today, as the Robins secured a thumping 3-0 win at Meadow Lane. To make things worse, Liam Noble was also sent off for the Magpies, who were simply outplayed by the visitors on a frosty day in Nottingham. You can see why they're in with a shout of automatic promotion. Shaun Derry's charges made the worst possible start when they conceded after just six minutes, Massimo Luongo releasing Andy Williams who beat Louis Laing to slip a shot beyond Roy Carroll and into the far corner. The Magpies kept possession well during those opening stages and had a few tentative half-chances, but Swindon were razor-sharp in the final third, Luongo very nearly striking again after being given plenty of space 17 minutes in. Jonathan Obika then had a shot cleared off the line midway through the first half before getting the ball into the back of the net, but seeing the goal ruled out for offside. Towards the end of the first half, Ben Gladwin curled an effort wide, but Haydn Hollis also came close with a header in added time to give the hosts hope of mounting a comeback after the break. This wouldn't happen - Williams struck his second of the afternoon in the 54th minute when he converted a pinpoint cross from Gladwin at the far post to leave Notts with a mountain to climb. And just two minutes later, Noble's challenge on Nathan Smith saw the Notts man get his marching orders and all but kill off any hope of claiming something from the game. Ultimately, the Robins would strike a third when the lively Luongo tapped the ball in following Gladwin's pull-back.
    8 points
  37. In this weeks PoN's preview to the League One games played on the 16thand 17th of January, six key games have been identified – This includes the important game between MK Dons vs Sheffield United, which several teams within League One will be looking out for. Whilst Doncaster take on Barnsley at the Keepmoat Stadium. If the Dons win, they could close the gap on Bristol City and Swindon. If the Blades win they could pull away from the sides just outside of the play off places. * Important Game – **Key Game Friday 16th January 2015 *Preston v Leyton Orient – Kick Off 7:45pm – Score Prediction (2-1) Saturday 17th January 2015 Colchester v Walsall – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-0) **Doncaster v Barnsley – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-1) Fleetwood v Oldham – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-0) Gillingham v Coventry – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-2) **MK Dons v Sheffield United – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-1) *Notts County v Crewe – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-0) Port Vale v Peterborough – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-2) Rochdale v Crawley – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-1) *Scunthorpe v Bristol City – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-3) **Swindon v Chesterfield – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-1) Yeovil v Bradford – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-3) My Stand-out Games MK Dons v Sheffield United Doncaster v Barnsley Swindon v Chesterfield MK Dons against Sheffield United looks like the most important game this week as MK Dons try to push for a automatic promotion place whilst Sheffield United try to hang onto a play off spot. A win for MK Dons could move them up to 2nd whilst Sheffield United could move up to 5th depending on the result of Yeovil v Bradford. Teams around Sheffield United will want them to mess up so that they might be able to gain points on them. Doncaster against Barnsley is also another game that jumped out at me this week not only because it’s a local derby but also for the fact of whichever team loses could move further down towards the drop zone. A win for Doncaster could move them up to as high as 8th which will make their fans think more about the play-offs again rather than relegation, whilst a win for Barnsley could move them up to 10th which could also ease their relegation fears. Whichever team loses could move down to within 3 places of the drop zone which makes it a key game for more then the local rivalry. Swindon against Chesterfield is a key match for effecting the automatic promotion places aswell as the play-offs and surrounding teams as Swindon try to hang onto top spot or 2nd whilst chesterfield try to push into the play off places. A win for Swindon will put them top or maybe keep them in 2nd place whilst a win for chesterfield could move them up to as high as 5th and move them away from several chasing teams for a play off spot. Thoughts on Notts County v Crewe This weeks match for us should be an easier match then previous weeks whilst at the same time Crewe’s form has picked up as of late. Our current results against Crewe Alexander have been positive although previously we have had better results away from home. The last time we dropped points against Crewe was back in 2013 when we drew 1-1 at Meadow Lane in the league. The overall head to head record shows us as favourites as we have won 20 whilst Crewe have won 12 and drawn 7. Crewe haven’t beaten us since 1997 when they won us 1-0 at Meadow Lane. We have picked up 14 points out of 15 from the last 5 meetings. I believe this is a match we should win but it wont be an easy game as Crewe’s form has improved over the past couple of weeks, I would at least hope for a point but Notts should get all 3 points. View New Content - Live Centre - All Articles
    8 points
  38. A rampant Bristol City performance left Notts County in tatters and sent out a message to the whole of League One that Steve Cotterill's side has what it takes to get themselves into the Championship next season. The Robins dispatched the Magpies 4-0 to soar back to the top of the third tier, thanks to goals by Joe Bryan, Matt Smith, Jay Emanuel-Thomas and Derrick Williams. Eight minutes is all it took for City to open the scoring, as a sizzling run from Emmanuel-Thomas carved open the visitors’ defence and led to a cross that was bundled in by Bryan. When Notts talisman Mike Edwards was forced off with an injury in the 11th minute, you just know the tone would be set for the afternoon. Notts were under the cosh for much of the half and required Roy Carroll to pull off a great save from Korey Smith, before substitute Taylor McKenzie cleared off the line. And indeed, the hosts doubled their lead just before the break when Luke Freeman’s cross was tapped in by Matt Smith. The ball appeared to have gone out of play in the build-up, but the referee let the goal stand. Notts showed more intent at the start of the second half, with some penetrating play causing some concern to City, even though Emmanuel-Thomas continued to show glimpses of magic at the other end. Just after the hour, the visitors were undone again when the 24-year-old former Arsenal academy man surged forward and slotted a low ball past Carroll. By this point it was game over, and City were enjoying themselves, even though Notts continued to push forward and saw Robins goalkeeper Frankie Fielding require to pull off a save from Garry Thompson. However, the fourth goal duly came when Bryan cut the ball back from the touchline for Williams to drive a low shot into the far corner past Carroll. The result means that Notts slip to 12th after a run of three successive losses.
    8 points
  39. Many of the fans’ wishes came true yesterday, with the announcement of Jim Rodwell’s departure from Notts. However, what does this mean for a club like ours? More importantly, what does it mean for the future of the football club? The announcement comes at a weird time since the club needs to have as much stability as possible. In addition, rumours have emerged of Damian Irvine’s contract not being extended. On the pitch, Notts are looking desperate and at half time against Rochdale the views of the fans were quite clear. We all want to see Notts doing well, although I am concerned about the reshaping which is happening and it leaves me to question how we move forward. The answer is not so easy to answer but I’m hoping for a brighter future for the Magpies. It appears that more and more fans want Derry out, I do not argue with opinions and I have come to be at the stage where I feel that the ending to this season will be grimmer than the whole of last season. We had real hopes this season and for one reason or another, it just has not progressed. Speaking to my driving instructor, another passionate Notts fan who runs the ‘Notts Driving School’, we have discussed the moments on and off the field and I feel that we really did miss something back when Shaun Derry decided to have a word with the players. I mean, why not now? Why are we not seeing more togetherness? The approach, which had been put in place after he arrived, helped secure the great escape. It is leaving questions – can it be done again? I do think we will be fine, I mean my driving instructor Jim said we can be lucky that the teams beneath us are so poor and I feel that this is a valid point. The problem I see is that leading a game and appearing to dominate before going on to concede, collapse and lose against supposedly weaker teams, it worries me. So how does Notts move forward? I do not believe for a second a new arisen will make much difference, it is not like a phoenix waiting to be released from the fire or a birth of a new beginning is on the cards. I am sorry to say it, I feel we will have to battle and work much harder to see the changes we hope for. The budget next season may help, however it all depends what happens from now until the end of the season. I certainly hope that Derry can turn the tide and withstand the pressure, I hope the squad of players he called ‘his type of players’ start to repay him for his chance to lead what I feel is a very passionate club. And for next season, we must learn from the past few seasons and start to install real hope, real togetherness, and harbour the passion which I see each week from the fans. I am still excited about the next season, yet I am daunting the weekend and I do not know what know what to expect from MK Dons. I know I fear that we could lose quite heavily, though I hope somewhere along the way we start to patch things.
    8 points
  40. Welcome back to the Pride of Nottingham’s League Preview, within this article you will find information on all the scheduled games planned for this weekend (including our own game on Friday night). The key game for this round if we take Notts out of the equation, would no doubt be between the promotion candidates Plymouth and Portsmouth. With both teams eyeing up promotion, after putting last year’s campaign behind themselves. We look forward to bringing you, your regular PON football fix. * Important Game – ** Key Game Friday 14th August 2015 **Notts County v Mansfield – Kick Off 7:45pm – Score Prediction (3-1) Saturday 15th August 2015 *Barnet v Wycombe – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-2) Carlise v Cambridge – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-1) Crawley v AFC Wimbledon – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-1) Dagenham & Redbridge v Leyton Orient – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-1) *Luton v Oxford – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-0) Morecambe v Accrington – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-1) Newport v Stevenage – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (1-1) Northampton v Exeter – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (3-2) **Plymouth v Portsmouth – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (2-1) Yeovil v Bristol Rovers – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (3-1) York v Hartlepool – Kick Off 3:00pm – Score Prediction (0-3) My Stand-Out Games Barnet v Wycombe Notts County v Mansfield Plymouth v Portsmouth The ambitions of the Bee’s is clear for all to see, they firmly believe that they have a squad capable of achieving something within League two and this is echoed by their fans. Whereas Wycombe will be wanting to maintain their recent success, after finishing 4th place in last season’s campaign. On the day, either side could win – it’s that difficult to call but this should make it an interesting game. A win for Barnet will see them move away from the relegation zone, into a comfortable upper mid table position. A Wycombe win, would see them potentially go top depending on the score line, but a draw would see both teams most likely to drop places. After the recent cup success and opening away day, Notts will be eager to seal the points. Whereas the woe’s for Mansfield continue. This is another game too hard to call, however Stagg fans must not begrudge County’s positive start and really it’s for them to raise their own game. A win for Notts would see them retain a respectful top position, a draw would most likely result in a position in or around 6th place, whilst this could push Mansfield nearer to the relegation zone. A win for Mansfield would see them edge closer to a play-off place. Plymouth and Portsmouth are two favourites for promotion, I think being at home is an advantage for Plymouth but Pompey have all to play for. A win for either side could see the winner potentially move to 1st place, a draw would keep them in or around the play-offs and a loss for either side would see them move to an upper mid table position. Thoughts on Notts County vs. Mansfield Both teams have built an interesting squad for the 2015/16 League Two campaign, with Mansfield signing players of a mixed class and of course Notts signing players mostly consisting of a decent level of European football. With this being the nearest local derby for Notts, I think it’s a must win game for us. After the opening day away at Stevenage, Notts must really fancy their chances in scoring a few goals. The overall head to head record shows Notts as favourites after winning 17, Mansfield have won 14 and 13 games have been drawn. Three of the last five encounters have ended up with draws, with Notts winning the most recent within the JPT back in September 2014 and Mansfield winning the other in October 2007. The bookies favourites must surely be Notts, yet as always you cannot write a side off. A local derby always ensures that teams want to acquire the rights for claiming the grudge match win, plus Mansfield can be quite a physical side, which will require Notts to be on top of their game. Whilst the Stags manager Adam Murray still learning his trade, the veteran and experienced Ricardo Moniz will have the game duly studied ahead of time to find the weaknesses within the Stags team.
    8 points
  41. We were within 5 Minutes of Staying in League One, 5 MINUTES. In the 85th minute V Gillingham Something happened and not in a good way. We were so close, yet so far away. My Girlfriend (Villa Fan) was out the house like a flash after their first Goal went in. I kicked the chair in frustration after the final whistle. HOW COULD YOU!! 5 BLOODY MINUTES. Time to focus on the Womens World Cup over here in Canada. Being a Volunteer at the newly refurbished Landsdowne Place, I have been able to see the Germans power through the group stages. With the Ivory Coast fans probably the best ever, even at 6-0. Then I got the chance to see England, and Ms Bronze score that beauty and then the Heartbreak of our own Laura Bassett. We still love you Girls!! July 1st rolls around (Happy Canada Day, 148 years old). My twitter feed starts to buzz about more than usual, Notts Have already signed Gill Swerts. There is rumours flying around about 4 more players coming in with Calibre. First in, comes Jon Stead. "Okay, we've made a statement of intent with this signing". All of a sudden, we were signing players left, right, and center. Mawouna Amevor, Adam Campbell, Kyle De Silva, Genaro Snijders, Julien Jenner, Filip Valencic & Graham Burke. We haven't had this much Transfer activity or hype since the Inglorious Munto year of 2009-2010. In most, if not all the Interviews Ricardo Moniz has spoken. He's always on about scoring goals and playing a fluid style. Like all of us have been crying out for over 4-5 years, we just want to be entertained. If we win or lose, we want to finish watching/listening to the game with a smile thinking we played well, it is what it is. After last night’s display against Arnold Town, I'm quietly confident about the upcoming season, as long as the team in the 2nd half is given enough time to gel and time to form part of the Notts County team, i can't see the first 11 changing very often, as we did last season. Unless of course Injuries and suspensions. Top 7 is a must, top 3 is realistic.
    8 points
  42. Back in mid-April, Notts County chairman Ray Trew announced during a radio interview that he would be creating a transfer committee at the club. This would consist of six members – all unknown at the time of the interview – who would discuss each player, before the manager, Ricardo Moniz made his final decision, as any manager should do if the chosen players were good enough for the club. After this interview, fans’ opinions were somewhat negative concerning the direction chosen by the club. The general opinion is that this would ultimately lead to bargain players being approved, as the general mood at the time was low. However, nobody knew for sure how this would work out and regardless it was the direction in which the club opted to go for. As the close season began, activity around Meadow Lane seemed very slow and fans hung onto any sort of transfer speculation linked with the club. When Notts made their first signing, it seemed that the mission of the current board and manager was to settle the worries and minds of loyal fans. The process of transfers is something generally handled on the quiet side at Meadow Lane it would seem. However, it wasn’t long before speculation and optimism started to creep into the fan base, with Ray Trew publicly voicing his thoughts on potential signings. Notts quickly started being linked with European talent, namely from the Dutch and Belgian leagues where Moniz has managed or dealt with before. Even names within the English division seemed to impress the majority. As the optimism increased, so did the transfers and, on merit, it seems that the transfer committee is doing a good job, as is Chief Scout Guy Branston who is heading the recruitment drive. It’s a little too early to say if it’s a complete success, but looking at the business done and achieved by the committee so far, it is certainly showing other clubs how it needs to be handled. With the club developing squad based on quality and not quantity, it’s easy to become excited when the players linked are of various skills and age ranges. It seems the five-step plan mentioned within local media really was the footprint for the success aimed towards the 2015-16 League Two campaign. Personally, I am satisfied with the direction in which the club appears to be going. I am also very keen to see the season underway and for fans to quickly jump on board, as success on the field for me can only be measured by the fans in attendance and naturally if Notts do get off to a bright start, the players arriving could seal a brighter future for this football club. It is a promising start for Notts, which does not warrant any sort of negativity remotely, and I am encouraged by the response I have seen. Let’s hope this season is a successful one for us, so we can finally push on together in the right direction.
    8 points
  43. Anyone who kept an eye on League Two last season will have deduced that it is almost impossible for a Club to sustain a high performance level allied to a top league position for the duration of a long exhausting 46 match season in a league which takes no prisoners. Chairmen and Managers who make the strategic decision to invest heavily in a compact squad of just 16 or so (relatively) costly players may well see their Club jockeying for a top seven position up until Christmas only to find that injuries, suspensions and heavy pitches begin to take their toll in January. As a consequence they are forced to bring both youth team players through the ranks quicker than is wise and loan players in what turns out to be more often than not a desperate but vain attempt to maintain league position. They watch their hopes of promotion fade quicker than the February sun. And in their position, you have to ask yourself whether you really want to further jeopardise your chances of promotion by increasing the risk of injury or suspension, by committing your top players to FA Cup, Carling Cup, and Johnson’s Paint Trophy games on top of the 46-game gruelling league campaign. When Big Sam Allardyce managed Notts County, he made no secret of the fact that he had absolutely no interest in Cup competitions, as his focus was solely on achieving promotion. At least his honesty saved fans a few quid as only the die-hards were willing to part with their hard-earned cash to watch a half-hearted effort on the pitch. As I write this article on the coach travelling to Huddersfield for our Carling Cup match, I have to confess that I don’t have any idea what Ricardo Moniz’ cup ‘policy’ is going to be. Will he want to give his ideal starting eleven another competitive 90 plus minutes to continue the gelling process? Will he want to give those ‘fringe’ players who are knocking on the door a chance to impress him that they should be in the starting eleven for the next league game? Will he want to give those players who have been injured some valuable rehab game minutes? Or will he send out a blend of youth players, second-stringers, and those he wants to put in the shop window in the hope that a watching scout will see a potential loan target and reduce our wage bill by a few pennies? (See after-game comment at the end of this article.) Neither the Carling Cup (in its early rounds at least) and certainly not the JP Trophy games will attract large enough crowds to swell Clubs’ income levels significantly. Many season ticket holders stay away from these matches on principle, not understanding why their outlay at the beginning of the season shouldn’t include Cup games. And the FA Cup matches won’t generate a dream, money-spinning, tie against Premiership opposition until the third round, at the very earliest. So all that is left to generate any big interest in the early rounds of all three cup competitions is the prospect of a tasty local derby to draw in crowds looking to savour a crunch game. Which brings us to this year’s opening round of the Johnsons Paintdrying Trophy, when Notts host their noisy neighbours, Mansfield Town. When I first heard news of the draw, I just thought: What a pity. The two teams will have already played each other earlier in the month in a league match and Mansfield are hardly a ‘glamour’ team. But, thinking on, I realised that this tie actually has the prospect of generating added commitment on the pitch as well as enthusiasm in the stands because, unless the league game results in a draw, the losing side and its fans will be out for revenge and, quite possibly, there will be one or two individual scores to be settled on the pitch as well. So what at first seemed (to Notts fans, at least) a disappointing 1st round JPT draw, may well turn out to be quite a feisty confrontation. I, for one, am looking forward to it! (After-game comment: As we all now know, RM sent out his strongest team at Huddersfield and what a brilliant display of commitment, vision, and ability we were treated to! I consider myself privileged to have been there to witness it.)
    8 points
  44. Michael Doyle 1,2,3,4……… A man who has certainly divided opinion, if a scan through social media is anything to go by. The main signing of the January transfer window, and the man touted to keep our Football League status, he made the perfect start by led by example as Notts won 7 points in his first 3 games, all against promotion chasing sides. We all know what happened after that and, in my opinion, he tried to do too much, taking all the set pieces (not particularly well, either) and not giving other players the space to operate. At the time, I would have been quite happy if he’d left during the summer. After all, why would we want a 38 year old who had hardly set League 2 alight in the final 14 games of a relegation season. I felt the same after the opening game of this season when an indifferent performance was capped by a thoughtless sending off as we were trying to get back into the game at Eastleigh - a straight red, 3 match ban, lack of discipline. With hindsight, I think that could be a turning point in his spell with us. Let’s face it, as a 38 year old, it won’t be a long playing spell but for me, he would now be the first name on the team sheet. Since coming back, it seems to me as if he has accepted he can’t do everything and is happy to be the conductor of the band. We have some excellent players for this level, and Doyle’s experience is vital. We hear about ‘game management’. Well this guy knows how to do that. As captain, he’s often in the ref’s ear to make sure he knows what’s going on and to stand up for his team mates against what may appear over aggressive treatment. His work rate is still second to none, but Ardley may need to manage his load over the season, although seeing red for the second time and getting a 4 match ban may actually help as he’s already sat out 7 games. And it may just have hit home to Doyle that he has a limited career and can’t afford to sit out too many more games. With over 700 appearances to his name in professional football, young players coming through can’t fail to learn from him and in the absence of Jim O’Brien, Doyle’s performances seem to have got better and better as he takes on the responsibility of being Ardley’s voice on the field. His influence was hugely noticeable in the recent game against Dagenham & Redbridge when he returned from suspension, coming off the bench as the visitors were taking control of the game and our one goal lead looked precarious. We were looking hesitant at the back, over-playing and inviting trouble. Doyle immediately took charge and there was a noticeable increase in energy from the moment he entered the field. His first thought was to get the ball away from our goal as quickly as possible, always into areas where the visiting defence had to turn and chase thereby giving us time to reorganise, and often giving us chance to launch a counter attack. What happens next? I’m sure he has some influence on the training pitch now, but is coaching something for him in due course? And, to contrast with my feelings last summer, I’d be sorry to see him leave. Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    7 points
  45. One of the main talking points between Notts County v Lincoln City was the 28th minute incident, where Billy Knott dangerously went in studs showing on Ryan Yates – which earned The Imps player a red card. However, despite the media and Lincoln manager Danny Cowley labelling it as the ‘changing moment’ – I would honestly disagree. The first half wasn’t productive for either sides, the way Lincoln set themselves up cancelled out both teams and the game ended largely even despite them going down to 10 men – which for me was the correct decision. Danny Cowley believes his players have ‘personal space’ on the pitch, but as an ex-footballer he should know there is no such thing. He said: “It’s quite clear that Billy Knott is about to hook the ball on and Ryan Yates, ridiculously bravely, throws his head into Billy’s personal space and there’s a bit of contact.” – yet what you see is a player going for a ball before any movement is made by any Lincoln player. What is ridiculous is the fact this bad challenge is being used as a very weak excuse as to why his side lost a football match. Knott dangerously kicks high, his studs are raised and it’s clear that with such a tight amount of space that any sort of high movement would be dangerous – I find it ludicrous that a manager wouldn’t acknowledge this, let alone believe he stands a chance at having the decision rescinded. Let’s face it, the red card wasn’t remotely the defining moment in the game but of course bitter people will suggest this. Despite going down to 10 men Lincoln still enjoyed spells of the first half, where I actually felt that they didn't appear to be without a player at all – they seemed to cope fine and even after Jon Stead scored they looked decent in control. I was taking pictures when they scored, however I spoke to several fans and they all praised Lincoln for getting back into the game. The defining moment was after they scored, Notts County simply got on with it and took control of the game by pulling themselves 2-1. This for me is the ‘defining moment’, as it appeared Notts had broken the chains which restrained them within the first half. You could argue that it created space, yet I encourage people who read this – go back and look at how Lincoln organised themselves. And the Pride of Nottingham Man of the Match Jon Stead deserves a lot of praise with how he dealt with being heavily marked – perhaps if Lincoln hadn’t decided to stick multiple players on him they would have handled the space better. Seriously, I believe there was a positive reaction to Lincoln scoring and I know Kevin Nolan has mentioned that he sees we have 6-7 leaders on the pitch but it was almost like the opposition side didn’t exist, regardless if they was one man down. After Matt Tootle scored, Lincoln seemed to be broken. Perhaps it was frustration or simply that Notts did truly shown their class within the squad half – yet whatever we threw at them they simply didn’t defend well. There’s little excuses beyond how Lincoln defended, hence why I feel that the red card is their way of clutching onto defeat. After the match, I walked back to the train station with a group of 100+ Lincoln fans due to the Nottinghamshire police pushing into their path and I didn’t hear any complaints about the red card or the referee. The only comment I heard was about how it would have been nice for them to end the game with 11 players on the pitch, yet notably accepted that they Notts ‘were one of the better teams’ The Imps had played. I actually felt they gave us a decent game, and played some good stuff attacking wise but from a defensive point of view they panicked, simple as that. Share your thoughts about this feature article 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. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
    7 points
  46. Notts County chairman Alan Hardy has announced that current season ticket holders will benefit from a discount should they wish to renew for next season. Prior to the change of ownership, the Magpies had endured a difficult campaign which saw them freefalling towards League Two's relegation places, though the last few weeks have seen the team rally round and give themselves hope of survival. An email sent out by Hardy to season ticket holders sees him acknowledge concerns that, due to reduced ticket prices since he took over, fans may feel that their packages are being devalued. The email says: "As you will be aware, since becoming chairman and owner I have made it my priority to engage with the local community and increase attendances by putting a number of ticketing initiatives in place. "Quite rightly, a number of season ticket holders have voiced concern that their package is being devalued as a result of the reduced pricing. I would therefore like to assure you that 2016-17 season ticket holders will benefit from an exclusive discount on season tickets for the 2017-18 campaign. I will confirm full details in due course. "In addition, I can confirm that your Bring a Friend voucher, if you haven’t already used it, is valid for any of this season’s remaining home matches. "I apologise for any frustration caused by the reduction in matchday pricing - it is fully understandable. However I am sure you share my desire for bigger attendances at Meadow Lane." Share your thoughts about this initiative on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
    7 points
  47. This season came off the back of a truly calamitous campaign in 1996-97 that saw Notts County embark on a record 20-match winless run and suffer relegation to the basement division for the first time since the 1960s. The manager was Sam Allardyce, who had inherited Colin Murphy's rudderless team part-way through that awful run. Allardyce made only modest changes to the previous season's squad in the summer. Dennis Pearce and Mark Robson arrived from Wolves and Charlton respectively, with the outgoings including Paul Rogers and Tony Agana. The season began with back-to-back wins over Rochdale and Hull before a controversial defeat at home to Lincoln in which Devon White took an early bath. This was followed by draws against Cardiff and Hartlepool as the Magpies started to look in danger of losing their early momentum. However, their position at the top end of the table was cemented by four straight wins including a 1-0 win over Mansfield featuring a possibly offside Gary Martindale goal. By this time Notts had a settled and confident team, something that eluded them in the previous campaign. Darren Ward held down the number one jersey, the talismanic and slightly caveman-like Gary Strodder was partnered at centre-half by Matt Redmile and Ian Richardson at different points of the season. Ian Baraclough, who in the previous season had played at left-back and had famously been voted the worst player in the club's history, was moved into midfield and did sufficiently well to attract the attention of QPR, who he joined in March. The Notts midfield also had its share of young talent in Steve Finnan and Shaun Derry, while Gary Jones partnered Sean Farrell up front. The team was captained by reliable right-back Ian Hendon, still probably the best taker of a penalty I have seen. While lacking the subtlety of the class of 2010, Allardyce's team offered just the right blend of guile and muscle to succeed in the fourth division. Notts rose to the top of the table with a 5-2 home win over a farcically bad (and relegation-bound) Doncaster Rovers team in December. Not on the score sheet that day was Doncaster native Gary Jones, who by that point had only netted five times. However, Jones would go on to score 23 goals in our final 23 games! The win over Doncaster was the second of what proved to be a club-record run of ten consecutive wins stretching from the beginning of December to the end of February. This record was clinched in a memorable 5-3 victory at Lincoln in which we raced into a 3-0 half-time lead. Early in the second half keeper Darren Ward missed the ball when attempting a clearance, leaving the Lincoln player with a tap-in, and 15 minutes later the hosts were level. However, Notts were determined. Seconds after the restart Jones charged down a clearance by the Imps' keeper and eventually a ninth straight win was secured in front of well over 2000 travelling fans. The tenth win was secured at Field Mill, with hundreds of Notts fans locked out. By the time the run ended, Notts were clear at the top of the division by a big margin and promotion was just a matter of time. Promotion and the title were clinched in a tight 1-0 win over Leyton Orient on 28 March, with six matches to spare. This made us the first team ever to win a championship before the end of March. The curtain came down on the season with a 5-2 home win against Rotherham in front of over 12,000 spectators, as well as the obligatory pitch invasion and an “interesting” rendition of "We Are The Champions" by Allardyce. The record-breaking team was broken up soon afterwards. We went into the following season with a raft of new signings to replace the likes of Phil Robinson, Shaun Derry and Ian Baraclough. And although both remained at the club, the Jones-Farrell partnership was also not to last. Sean Farrell suffered a long-term injury early in the following season, and Gary Jones never recaptured his form and eventually left the club for Hartlepool. By the end of 98-99, only five of the first 11 had featured in the championship-winning campaign. However, the 97-98 season remains a masterclass in turning a failing team around. Disappearing from view (sorry WSC) Devon White Following a stint at Lincoln City in the mid-80s, the physical, Nottingham-born striker drifted back into non-league until Gerry Francis took him to Bristol Rovers, where he scored 53 goals in 202 appearances. Francis then took him with him to QPR in 1993, where he scored nine goals in 26 Premier League appearances before joining Notts for the first time in 1994. White had rejoined Notts from Watford in early 1997 but left again in September after losing his first-team place. After a subsequent spell at Shrewsbury, he returned to non-league football and is now an electrician. Went on to greater things Steve Finnan Steve Finnan originally arrived as a young loanee from Birmingham City in the 1995-96 season and became a fixture in the team that reached the play-off final in what is now League One. He joined permanently the following season and was a key supplier of goals from the right wing in 97-98. Kevin Keegan then signed him for Fulham for £600,000 in November 1998. In the 2000s Finnan mainly played in the right-back position and became part of the Premier League furniture for Fulham and subsequently Liverpool, where he became a Champions League winner. Share your thoughts about this feature on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
    7 points
  48. What a superb win, and what a superb way to get it. Notts County's form has been shaky of late, with three consecutive defeats making Magpie fans more than a little nervous, but the response today was a 2-1 win against Crewe Alexandra, courtesy of a stunning finish at the death from newcomer Billy Daniels. The Alex were first to threaten when Jamie Ness won a free-kick four minutes in, with Alan Tate getting to the ball first and sending a header just wide of goal. On nine minutes, Ness sent Nicky Ajose through on goal, but the striker’s touch was heavy and keeper Roy Carroll was able to come out and save. Two minutes later a James Jones pass got Uche Ikpeazu in behind. He was beaten to the ball by Carroll, but the loose sphere fell to Ajose, who missed the target. Notts then started to respond, and on 16 minutes Kwame Thomas nodded over after getting above Jon Guthrie to meet a cross from the left flank, and minutes later, Haydn Hollis headed wide from a set-piece. It looked as though the first half would end all square, but Ikpeazu then conceded a free-kick in stoppage time and the ball was delivered into the Alex box, where Thomas was sent down by Guthrie’s swinging leg. The referee pointed to the spot and Liam Noble planted the dead ball into the bottom corner despite goalkeeper Garratt getting the faintest of touches. Less than two minutes after the restart, the Notts defence was found wanting as Ness charged forward and drove low past Carroll from 20 yards out to level proceedings. Both sides gave it their all throughout the second half, but luckily the Magpies would go on to secure all three points in spectacular fashion. A cross from the left wing was beautifully met on the volley by substitute Daniels, the ball soaring into the top corner from 15 yards, much to the unadulterated joy of the home faithful. Crewe never really threatened to get back into it and despite Noble being sent off for a second yellow in injury time, the hosts held on.
    7 points
  49. Being 2nd in League One with a game in hand of the 1st place Swindon Town, Robins fans have every right to be exited about this seasons campaign. Bristol City have lead the division and put together several impressive displays, as they hover around the two top positions. Pride of Nottingham's taken the time to ask several questions to Robin's fan 'Hodge' who is currently exiled away from the club in which he supports. Firstly, could you please tell prideofnottingham.co.uk a little about yourself such as how long you've been a Robins fan? I've been a City fan for around 13 years having started watching them at about the age of 10. Outside football I'm currently studying a masters degree at UCLan in Preston so a bit of an exile but managing to get to a fair few away games. At the start of the season where did you hope Bristol City would be by this point and what is the difference compared to last season? Given that least season was our first back in the division and we started it by being rooted to the bottom until sacking Sean O'Driscoll and replacing him with Steve Cotterill its hard to compare, Cotterill did a great job to get us back to 12th from taking over in January so going into this season I wasn't sure what to expect. However given our activity in the transfer market bringing in players who were attracting interest from championship clubs such as Luke Freeman, Korey Smith, Aaron Wilbraham and Kieran Agard (who left promoted Rotherham as their top scorer to join us) I was expecting us to be around the play-offs. Which three players do you feel will be runners for your 'Player of the Season' and why? Luke Freeman - Great engine, never stops running and chasing the game when we're not on the ball, his influence only grows game by game as he becomes accustomed to a unfamiliar position while being dangerous going forward. Aden Flint - Rock of our defence, great aerial presence and along with Luke Ayling and Derrick Williams has been a big factor of success in our defence. If Aaron Wilbraham hadn't been injured the last few weeks I'd have said him, but Korey Smith. Does the job that no one really notices, cleans up any opposition attacking play well, recycles and gets us going forward again. Also has a mean right boot on him when given the chance. What are your thoughts on Steve Cotterill as your manager? Do you always agree with his lineups and substitutions? Honestly when I heard Cotterill was the manager we were after, not even interviewing someone else I really didn't feel enthusiastic about what the club was doing, never have I ever been so wrong. Cotterill was an inspired choice as he managed to take us from bottom at Christmas last season to top at Christmas this season. In the calender year of 2014 we picked up around 84 points which put City 9th overall from all 4 divisions. As for his line ups well, we're going to play 532 with wingbacks, you could practically bet your mortgage on it and the line up will rarely change. GK - Frank Fielding RWB - Mark Little RCB - Luke Ayling CB - Aden Flint LCB - Derrick Williams LWB - Joe Bryan CM - Wade Elliott CM - Korey Smith CM - Luke Freeman ST - Matt Smith ST - Jay Emmanuel-Thomas Only way that will be different will be if either Kieron Agard or Aaron Wilbraham have recovered from injury where they may replace Emmanuel-Thomas. Its hard to argue against the team as its one that has only found itself being knocked off the top spot for the first time in over 100 days due to Swindon playing a league game while we were playing an FA Cup game. As for his substitutions, occasionally I feel Cotterill can wait a bit too long to make subs, as if he's hoping things stay like they are (having been top all season and results generally being in our favour). Sometimes you can see and feel the game changing and as a fan think something needs to be changed where as Cotterill does nothing, sometimes it costs us, sometimes it doesn't. At Ashton Gate what is the atmosphere like, which away teams have impressed you with their support and why? This season the atmosphere can be very hit and miss I find, with the main bunch of loud fans having to be relocated due to the redevelopment it has meant that some have split up and gone to other areas of the ground leading to some quieter games, but when the fans get going it can be a fantastic atmosphere. As for away fans, I've only been able to get down to a few games this season given my distance from Bristol. Yeovil Town provided a decent atmosphere on boxing day, however the distance between the two sides geographically probably helped in that regard. How much does football mean to you in general and what attracted you to supporting Bristol City? Admittedly Football is not my main sport, I never played it apart from at school. However I have watched Football since a young age and was glued to it instantly, I try and watch as much as possible, whether watching Bristol City games where I had been a season ticket for around 5 years before moving for university or when possible watching any games on tv. As for what drew me to City, I moved to Somerset when I was 8 and my dad started taking me along to games within a year or two so I have probably been watching City for a good 13 years or so. Which Bristol City players are currently inform and how would you expect your side to play on Saturday? While limiting it to three is hard as so many are playing well I'd have to say Matt Smith (on loan from Fulham), Luke Freeman and Aden Flint would probably be my three picks for players in the best form. Smith has scored 8 in 4 games (4 against Gillingham in the JPT semi final), Freeman despite being a winger has found himself being played in central midfield with license to go forward and has adapted brilliantly. And finally Aden Flint has been our rock in defence a really commanding centre back both in terms of his game play and as a presence within the team. Out of the Notts County players which would you be concerned about and who would you set to mark them? Apart from the well known players such as Smith, Carroll, Mullins etc I admit Notts County are a club I'm not so well clued up on for their best players. However I remember Stephen McLaughlin from his time on loan with us and that he can cause problems, also given that we operate using wing backs, he could get some free runs at them. Which two games this season stand out for you for good and bad reasons, please tell us why? Sheffield United away first game of the season, pre season Sheffield Utd had been tipped as the favourites by many to run away with the league, so for us to win away there on the opening game sent a clear message of our intentions for this season. Peterborough away, despite their league position p'boro is never an easy place to travel to, so given we won 3-0 and dominated while on TV it again sent out the message of what we were capable of having come off the back of successive defeats the previous two games. Pride of Nottingham would like to thank Robins fan Hodge for taking the time to answer our questions, we wish him all the very best with his masters degree and we wish Bristol City all the best with the rest their season. Match Thread - League One Preview - Scouting Report - View New Content
    7 points
  50. The upcoming local derby between Notts County and Mansfield Town has been labelled by magpies boss Ricardo Moniz as having “No difference between Arsenal and Spurs” and in fact mentioned “This club is also big”. Notts County have the foundation of having impressive performances under their belt, whilst Mansfield are yet to win within the 2015-16 season. Pride of Nottingham has taken the time to put several questions to one of the most recognizable match day photographers Dan Westwell. Firstly, could you please tell prideofnottingham.co.uk a little about yourself, such as how long you've been a Stags fan? I've been a Stags fan for 30 years, since I moved up here from Peterborough when I was 11. I wanted to support my local team and that's where it started. My first game was against the Canadian national team, we won 3-0! At the end of that season we went to Wembley in the Freight Rover Trophy and beat the favourites Bristol City on penalties who had Keith Curle and David Moyes playing for them. I thought I'd picked a winning team here but then the past 29 years have been a bit barren lol. What are stand-out moments from last season and how have things changed within the pre-season? There are no stand out moments from last season as it was a disaster. Had there not been 2 worse teams than us we would've gone back to that hell-hole again. We've got a lot to thank Tranmere & Cheltenham for. This season can't be as bad as that (we hope!). Adam Murray has signed some good players and there was a lot of positivity surrounding the club in the summer, a bit like at Notts, we just need to see how these players gel & then try and find a winning formula as I can't remember the last time we did win a game. Are you optimisic about your season ahead and what do you think of the squad assembled by Adam Murray? Yes I am, if you can't be optimistic in August when can you be!? The squad is very impressive, he's mixed it up well with some old heads, some new heads and some youth, so if he can get the blend right then we'll have a good season. Do you think having players like Craig Westcarr and Kristian Pearce will help you against Notts? I hope so. I was at the Forest game in the cup when Westcarr scored for Notts and he ran along the main stand celebrating in front of the Forest fans. I don't think he would disrespect Notts like that, but if he does I'll be happy as it means he's scored! Who do you think will the win the League Two title? More importantly where will Mansfield and Notts finish in your opinion? I think you can't look beyond Portsmouth & Luton really, but I've had an outside bet on Cambridge as I think they've assembled a good team. Having said that, Notts have been really impressive in the 2 games I've seen so far this season and if they carry this on, then they will win the league. I would love us both to go up, that would be awesome, especially if Forest got relegated! If I was forced to pick league positions I would go Notts 3rd and us 10th which I would take for sure with how we were last season. As the clubs official away day photographer, does it make it more interesting to cover these types of local derby games? It does at Field Mill because obviously I'm there doing the game for Notts yet it's at my 2nd home, so there's a strange feeling about it because I want both teams to win. Personally I want Stags to win because they are my team, but professionally I want Notts to win because it makes my photos better, if you can understand that? Like the pre season game last year when we hammered you ;-) the photos I was sending in were of fans looking fed up and not much action (especially goal action) so the pics weren't very good from a Notts angle (although my Stags mates loved them lol). As for this game, I would've been going as a freelance not being paid and would just sit in one place and see what happened, but now I am doing it for the local Mansfield paper (CHAD) so I will be doing the Stags attack & Stags fans rather than anything Notts as the home photographer will be doing that. What line-up would you feature against the Magpies? Who will be your key men? Matt Green, if he is fit would be our main threat I would say. But you never know if Westcarr & Pearce play then you could have the curse of the returning player. I wouldn't like to guess at our line up as I don't think even Adam Murray knows what team he will pick. Lastly, what do you think the score and scorers will be? If you'd asked me this on Monday I would've gone for a Stags win. But having seen what Notts did to Huddersfield last night I am actually pretty damn scared of what could happen to us. I wouldn't be shocked if Notts tanked us 4-0! We just have to hope that Notts continue their ill discipline and get an early sending off to give us a chance, but then they showed against Huddersfield that they can still see a game out with 10 men, away, at a Championship team. I just hope our good record against Notts helps us out, otherwise we could be in trouble. If you offered me a draw now I'd take it, a nice 2-2 like one of our favourite games when Iyseden Christie equalised 40 yards offside ;-) Pride of Nottingham would like to thank Dan Westwell for taking the time to answer our questions, we wish him all the very best with his recent fund-raising efforts and fingers crossed he brings Notts the luck tonight! No, good luck Mansfield in this new season.
    7 points
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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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