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Found 12 results

  1. Kevin Nolan has revealed that Alan Smith left Notts County because he wanted a break from football. The former Leeds United and Manchester United man spent four years at Meadow Lane as a player, coach and even caretaker manager, before being released at the end of last season. Nolan also stated that Smith is looking to make a return to the game in several months and could hopefully assist on coaching and scouting duties. “We had Smudger who was a fantastic servant to this football club and wanted to walk away,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “He will always love the game but sometimes you need to take a break. “And he said when he is back in a couple of months, hopefully he can come in and help us. “He can help the forwards and pass on that experience. He will go out and watch games for us and help in anyway he can.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  2. Shola Ameobi has stressed that he and other senior members of the Notts County contingent must "set the tone" for the rest of the squad. The veteran striker has experience playing at the top level for Newcastle United and at international level for Nigeria. Ameobi is one of several such players and coaches at Meadow Lane, with Kevin Nolan, Mark Crossley, Jon Stead and Alan Smith also enjoying playing careers at the top level. All must play their part in helping the rest of the Magpies squad handle the pressure of the League Two promotion battle, says Ameobi. “We have players and staff who have played in big games during their career under huge pressure and I think that’s a big positive for us,” he told The Mag. “Hopefully we can use that experience to help the rest of the lads. It is important the senior players set the tone for the team especially the younger players. “The manager will do that anyway, but the likes of Steady, Smudge, Duffer and myself have a big role to play in ensuring the team is prepared mentally. “We have nothing to lose going into the eight games but we will take each one as it comes. “It is important to look back at where we have come from since this time last year because we can take a lot of pride from that and use it as momentum going into the final stretch. “We know if we can manage to put a run together we could end up winning promotion. We have to deal with that pressure and expectation but we are confident within the dressing room.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  3. Kevin Nolan has spoken of the virus which is currently plaguing the Notts County setup and is hoping that it will clear up in the next week or two. A number of players have been suffering with the bug as Elliott Hewitt missed the games against Swansea City and Barnet. Alan Smith and Lewis Alessandra, meanwhile, both sat out the trip to the Hive, and Nolan has acknowledged that it's "going through the whole club" at present. "I've not been feeling great myself and Richard Thomas has been the same," Nolan told the official club site on Monday ahead of the Carlisle United fixture. "The kit man, the PA and the psychologist have all had it, so it's going through the whole club at the minute. "Every 24 hours we're getting two players back but losing another two! "It's unfortunate that this bug has surfaced when we're spending a lot of time with one another on the coach and at hotels. "It's hit us harder than if we were playing Saturday-to-Saturday or at home because I would have been able to give the lads some time away from each other. "We're hopeful we can get over it in the next week or two and have a fully-fit squad again." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  4. A couple of years ago, Notts County boasted a number of former Manchester United players in Alan Smith, Roy Carroll and Kevin Pilkington. Of those, only Smith is still at Meadow Lane, which has morphed into a bit of a "Newcastle United Old Boys Club" now. Smith also played at St James' Park, while Kevin Nolan and Shola Ameobi also donned the "other" black and white stripes up on Tyneside. Having former Premier League players, individuals whose careers continue to be held in high esteem, at Notts is a huge boost on three fronts - on the pitch, off the pitch, and in the marketing department. (And of course I can't omit Jon Stead from this, even though he's not a former Newcastle man - in fact he played for bitter rivals Sunderland - but he's also a distinguished former PL player with an illustrious career.) On the pitch, the former PL players can read the game fantastically, what with experience gained against playing for and against some of the top sides in England and some of the top players in the world. There is also the psychological boost of having players that have played at the top level that the opposition players will have grown up watching and, although some can step up their game accordingly, others will feel intimidated or perhaps even a bit starstruck. Off the pitch, these players will be a font of knowledge from their years at the top and, alongside ensuring that standards are as high as they can be, will also have a sharp and refined tactical awareness - and of course they can coach their teammates accordingly, as they will be learning from the best. And the final point, that of marketing, has always been quite important but never so much as the present day, when the explosion of social media ensures that millions, even billions, of people can discover and discuss the latest football information at the touch of a button. In this respect, having former Premier League players will generate interest from far beyond the NG postcode and even beyond Britain - the likes of Smith, Nolan, Ameobi and Stead will have fans from Man United, Newcastle, West Ham, Bolton, Blackburn and other big clubs eager to find out more about how they're doing at Notts. When Notts were drawn against Salford in the FA Cup, the game made it on terrestrial largely because of the narrative pitting the side owned by several players of the Class of 92 against a club boasting United alumni. By having an interesting back story, it generates interest and as such will be given the spotlight. Similarly, the club has featured a lot in the national press in recent months, with Nolan on Sky Sports and BBC Sport, Stead doing an interview in the Daily Mail and so on. Obviously the club has done a lot of media-worthy things for itself - the changing rooms for example - but that star element has elevated the club above a lot of other lower-league clubs in the media. In conclusion, the presence of players and coaches that once graced the Premier League has given Notts a massive boost on multiple fronts and, combined with the shrewd ownership and management of Alan Hardy, it's led to the club going upwards both in League Two and in the media spotlight. 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.
  5. Alan Hardy has recently described what he is doing - and continuing to do - at Notts County as a "revolution". Given how the last 11 months or so have panned out, you wouldn't argue against it. This time last year, Notts were in the middle of a truly horrendous losing run which would go on to span 10 matches, and the atmosphere at Meadow Lane was understandably so toxic that Chernobyl would have felt like a spa weekend in comparison. And indeed, Hardy has done the conventional things right - he's invested shrewdly in the club from top to bottom, appointing a dynamic young manager in Kevin Nolan, investing in the player facilities, enabling the fostering of great team spirit and winning the vast majority of the fanbase back after several years of animosity with open communication and numerous incentives. But aside from that, Notts have also undergone a process of overhauling their image and getting the club in the headlines for the right reasons. As a club in the fourth tier of English football, opportunities to get the club promoted in the press are generally few and far between, but over the last few months, the likes of Hardy, Nolan, Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi have featured on the likes of Sky Sports and in the Daily Mail, the Guardian and BBC Sport to name a few. Things like the rotating monthly shirt sponsorship, which in hindsight is such a simple and effective premise that it's amazing nobody else has thought of it before. The interest in Nolan, Stead, Ameobi, Alan Smith and other Notts men as Premier League household names. The top-notch changing rooms. All these and more have made the nationals and helped reshape the Magpies as an exciting, dynamic, innovative and simply "cool" club. In particular I would like to focus on the sponsorship deal with Jake Bugg. An absolute stroke of genius. We all know how football and music have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for a long time - Oasis and Manchester City, the Stone Roses and Man United. And now, Notts and Jake Bugg. His name on our shirts gets him a lot of exposure (plus brownie points by virtue of having his name associated with the beautiful game) while at the same time giving the Notts brand brownie points for being associated with a young, talented and internationally famous musician. All this might seem like tittle tattle but this PR "charm offensive" is crucial considering how our children, as it was in the past but with the advent of social media, more than ever, could find themselves turned away from their local clubs and towards the likes of Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and so on - and for Nottingham kids specifically, turning away from Notts and onto Nottingham Forest, which would be the ultimate humiliation for a Magpie parent or guardian. This is why Hardy's "revolution" isn't just about the present - it's about ensuring that Notts is seen as the kind of club that local youngsters want to be associated with and, as a result, don't get swayed towards teams hundreds of miles away. Or worse yet, Forest! 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.
  6. Kevin Nolan has slammed the decision not to award a free kick to Alan Smith in the lead-up to Lincoln City's killer second goal in their EFL Trophy encounter at Sincil Bank. The Magpies had to beat the Imps to secure a top-two place in Group G and it seemed like it was going according to plan with Jonathan Forte's opener. However, a dangerous Josh Ginnelly free kick was unfortunately diverted by Pierce Bird into his own net, before the Lincoln man struck a long-range winner for a 2-1 home win. “I am very disappointed, because I thought there was a blatant foul on Smudge (Smith) leading up to the second goal,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “We knew we had to win to go through, and maybe we showed them too much respect in the second half. “But overall I was pleased with a lot of performances, especially Pierce Bird. We shouldn’t have given the free-kick away which led to that goal. “Nicky Hunt gave the free-kick away and he is big enough, old enough and ugly enough to know that is not the way to defend. “We gave too many of them away on the night and Lincoln will always make it difficult for you as they throw the big men up. “But what disappointed me is that we do not get that free-kick on Smudge and they score the second. “I was disappointed but, in saying that, there were some good positives to come from the game. “We wanted to get through to the next round. But we gave too many free-kicks away and Lincoln will always make it difficult for you.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  7. Kevin Nolan has backed Alan Smith to score even more goals for Notts County after opening his account for the club on Tuesday night. The 36-year-old, who played as a striker early in his career, equalised for the Magpies in the EFL Trophy meeting with Mansfield Town, although the Stags went on to win 2-1 at Meadow Lane. Despite the defeat, Nolan was full of praise for Smith and backed him to chip in with more goals, even if he acknowledges he's not going to be regularly playing full games. “I thought Smudger was great and you are going to get that from him every time he plays,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “He loves the game and still has that hunger, but unfortunately his legs don’t let him get to 90 minutes as much as he would like them to do. “But he was brilliant and took his goal really well. That’s what you expect when you put him up there because he’s done it all his career. “I’ve told him he will be a forward and I am expecting him to come up with a couple of goals here and there.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  8. Ryan Yates has revealed that his decision to join Notts County on loan was mainly influenced by Kevin Nolan being manager at the club. The 19-year-old, who is on the books at Nottingham Forest, joined the Magpies for a season-long spell at the start of the season. Despite being tracked by a number of teams interested in his services, Yates decided to go for a loan move over the Trent. “First and foremost my decision to come here was because of Kevin Nolan being the manager,” he told the Nottingham Post. “That was the main reason. He has played in the Premier League and I’ve not really had that kind of person to learn from yet. “He was a central midfielder like me and a goalscorer. He had that leadership and is somebody I really look up to. “I remember watching all his goals thinking I want that to be me one day so it’s going to be really good experience for me.” Yates, who scored on his Notts debut against Scunthorpe United in the League Cup, also hailed the presence of other former Premier League players at Meadow Lane, such as Shola Ameobi, Jon Stead and Alan Smith. “At the start I was a bit in awe because I couldn’t believe I was training with all these types of players. “Being with the under-18s and the under-23s you don’t get that, so I am just trying to feed off their experience. “I am trying to take it all in because they are not always going to be around. Shola is always giving me advice so I am trying to take that information and learn every day. “These players have been there and done it, then dropped down the leagues." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  9. Notts County manager Kevin Nolan has vowed to keep using Alan Smith up front rather than in midfield. The former England international came to prominence as both a striker and as a right-winger during his time at first club Leeds United. However, he was converted to midfield while he was on the books at Manchester United, where he's largely remained in terms of position since leaving Old Trafford. Despite his positional reshuffle, former Newcastle United teammate Nolan used him up front in the Checkatrade Trophy win against Everton Under-21s in midweek. He told the Nottingham Post: “He holds the ball up and he’s got a lovely touch. You can see when he gets into them holes, he can play them through balls fantastically well. “He’s a great lad, and everybody who knows him around the club knows how much it means to him to play games and I thought on Tuesday night it showed again that he was a big performer. “I thought him and Jonathan Forte caused Everton a lot of problems. I thought they linked up really well and in certain patches looked really good. “The goal was a great knock down by Smudge and a great turn and finish by Forte. I was really pleased with their output.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  10. Kevin Nolan has revealed that Alan Smith remains a key player of his Notts County setup. The former England international played in the 2-1 win over Everton Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday, setting up Jonathan Forte for the opening goal. However, he was left out of the squad for the 2-0 win over Chesterfield, which prompted a talk between the two regarding Smith's future at Meadow Lane. “We had a bit of a heart to heart at the weekend because I left him out for the Chesterfield game,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “But he knows I am honest and truthful so I told him that he’s still got a major part to play in our team. “It may not be the part he has always been used to as a player, but it is in the respect of how he carries himself around the ground, in training and when he gets his minutes on the pitch. “He’s always first class and the reason he can do what he does is because he’s a first class professional." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  11. Dan Jones has claimed that the high calibre of the Notts County backroom staff is conducive to players' progress. The defender is back for a second spell with the Magpies, this time as a permanent signing after initially spending time on loan at Meadow Lane in 2009. Jones insists that the working with the likes of Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith and Mark Crossley - all of whom players in the Premier League - along with their colleagues, is exciting and educational in equal measure. He told the official site: "You've only got to look at the manager's career - how can you not respect that? We play football to try and get to the top level, and he's done that. "Every day you've got to try and impress these people. If you don't want to do that, you shouldn't be playing sport. They know the game, and all the little tricks, inside out. "It's great for me - I'm 30 years of age but I feel like I'm learning everyday. There's a real seriousness, but also a real enjoyment. Everything's intense." Let Pride of Nottingham know your thoughts by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
  12. Of all the players Notts County have within their squad, it’s often the youngsters who are referred to as being the key in order to survive the drop from League Two. In January, the club reinforced itself with the arrivals of Jorge Grant, Marc Bola, Josh Clackstone and Tahvon Campbell. However, it was the arrival of experienced veteran striker Shola Ameobi that captivated the fans' excitement the most. I value the experience that players of Ameobi’s quality bring. Mark Stallard mentioned on BBC Radio Nottingham that Ameobi has the quality to help, noting that the frontman may not be in the prime of his career but if he can regain match sharpness there is no doubt just how significant his arrival would be. Having the likes of Ameobi, Kevin Nolan and Alan Smith on our books as players, individuals who have competed at the highest level and had the careers they've had, does look naturally impressive. They process the right type of knowledge, which is beneficial to a club that is lacking leaders on the pitch, especially one that is in a relegation battle. One thing which struck me recently as I watched Notts play, we tend to be almost one-dimensional and it’s only the senior players who try to overcome this issue. The only exception has been the return of Curtis Thompson, who is a true grafter, yet position-wise, during our own attacks, players are often unsupported and this limits the chances that can be created. Ameobi has gotten stuck in, with another veteran player Mark Yeates currently failing to make any sort of impression for the most part of the minutes in which he has featured. A few good dead balls doesn’t make up for much, yet even he could be a pinnacle player and if Michael O’Connor, Richard Duffy and Robert Milson continue to step up, perhaps it will only be a matter of time for Yeates? I am unsure how much of a part the inexperienced players can play in our survival, Jordan Richards does seem to be a great young player but nowhere near first team standards. However, I am dead certain that the veterans at the club can contribute when it truly matters. The depth looks to be the right balance for survival and I am convinced we have more than enough in order to achieve that. It may be unpopular to suggest seeing Alan Smith, however he can make the odd cameo appearance and provide some real grit in the bulk of midfield. Nolan at this stage must continue to identify the players that can affect and change games, critics may argue that Smith doesn’t have any future as a player. They may argue that Yeates and Jon Stead are both past it, however Notts do look much better with them around. Survival will go down to who is the most prepared, so having a squad which is highly unpredictable, full of experience, and eagerly awaiting youngsters who can make an impact when required. I would hope that the defence, along with Richard Duffy, continues to impress, with Thierry Audel looking all the more like a new signing for the club. It does appear that Nolan does have the right types of headaches when it comes to his selection, with a surprising comeback against Exeter City. It does show that the players are responding to the training and are well aware of the importance these games have on the future of the club. Share your thoughts about this article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.

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