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Kevin Nolan has praised Notts County summer signings Callum Saunders and Elliot Hodge, suggesting that they are both players who can get crowds excited. Both players, brought in at Meadow Lane with a view to development, played in the Magpies' 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday. “I thought they did really well and I was really pleased with both of them,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “Callum led the line well and ran the channels which is what he is all about. “He was probably a little bit unlucky not to get a few more chances but he will get better the more and more he does it. “Elliot did really well especially in the first half. He did lots of good things and when you’ve got two lads who are hungry, decent, and they’ve got pace, it excites the crowds. “I was delighted with them and they should be pleased with how they performed.” 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.
We’re now 5 games into the season in all competitions and it is looking promising for Notts County. Having made a few additions in the summer with the window still yet to close, here is my opinion on the signings we have made so far and what they can bring to the squad this season. So far with the transfer window closing on August 31, Notts have made 13 signings. In depth 2 being goalkeepers, 4 defenders, 5 midfielders and 2 forwards. Within the 13 signings 2 of these are loan players from the other side of the Trent. Jorge Grant was a fan favourite last season having signed for the Magpies in the January transfer window and was a key player to our survival last season. I think at the top of Alan Hardy’s and Kevin Nolan’s to-do list was to ensure this guy was playing for the Pies for the upcoming 2017-18 season. So, let’s start with the goalkeepers. We have brought in 2 goalkeepers going by the names of Ross Fitzsimons and Branislav Pindroch. Fitzsimons was on trial for us during pre-season and we acquired him from Chelmsford. He made his Notts debut against Scunthorpe in the Carabao Cup First Round. He looks to be a commanding individual with good communication amongst his defenders. He looks to be our number 2 this year with Pindroch looking like backup. With the defenders, most notably Shaun Brisley has joined the Pies on a free transfer from Carlisle United. Brisley so far has made 4 appearances scoring one goal. He has shown real determination and looks a real solid addition alongside Richard Duffy. Other defender signings include Nicky Hunt from relegated Leyton Orient who was part of Nolan’s squad at his short stint at The O’s. Dan Jones was also recruited as a full back from Chesterfield, he slipped up big style against Coventry but has turned it around the past couple of games so I think we can write that off as a bad game for him. Finally, the Pies have recruited Pierce Bird who was unattached. Pierce looks to be a possible loan player in the future but I can see him having a long career here at Notts County. Moving onto the midfielders. With the 2016-17 season coming to a close in connection with most of the players contracts it was important to strengthen this area and boy has Nolan done that. We have recruited 5 midfielders - Jorge Grant and Ryan Yates the loanees from Nottingham Forest. Also, we have Elliot Hodge and Terry Hawkridge from Lincoln City. Terry looks to be a real gem so far with lots of pace and cutting in numerous times, this will really hurt weak teams in the league. The final midfielder recruited is Liam Walker. Liam has plenty of international experience with Gibraltar against teams such as Germany. Good solid central midfielder with good passing ability. Finally, the forwards, while offering new contracts to Stead and Ameobi with Forte still being under contract it looked like the area where least additions were needed. We have made 2 additions. One being up there for signing of the summer Lewis Alessandra from relegated Hartlepool United. So far, he has made 4 appearances for the Magpies scoring one goal and im almost 100% certain that this could reach double figures this season. As well as Alessandra, we have assigned Callum Saunders to the squad from Crewe Alexandra but looks to be a backup striker. So who is the summer signing so far? After seeing them in action in the league I am torn between Hawkridge and Grant but for me I think it has to be Grant. Sorry to follow the crowd but Grant is just class for our league. His ability to get in behind but also show flair and skill on the ball is fantastic to see at League 2. He is a game changer and has the ability to secure all 3 points on his own. However, he must learn from players like Stead and Ameobi and learn quickly that he does need the players around him to be the star of the show. Most questionable signing so far? Personally, I think Callum Saunders. I have never heard of him before and I do not know what he can bring to the team. Also at the moment I can’t see him replacing any of our first team strikers or even getting on the bench so it just baffles me while he is on the wage bill sitting in the reserves but im not a scout or coach so Nolan must see something. Let me know what you think about the star and most questionable signing of the summer so far. Can Notts improve any more areas or should we call it quits on our recruitment this summer? 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.
We've made a lot of signings this week. Six, to be precise. And now Notts have stepped up their recruitment drive, the question on everyone's lips is, how are we going to line up against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday? There may be some difference in opinions in the formation that we use throughout the season, but I'm going to stick with 4-4-2 as we used that nearly all of the time last season when Nolan took over. Starting in goal. Adam Collin seems like the obvious choice and whilst most of our fans don't like him much, it's hard to see Fitzsimons or Pindroch replacing him just yet. Matt Tootle has the right-back spot sewn up sweetly. If he avoids the injury problems he had last season he could play every league game. I don't expect Jordon Richards or Nicky Hunt to start much at all this season. The left-back spot is easy. Dan Jones will easily displace Carl Dickinson. The ex-Stoke man was very error-prone last season, especially when he consistently allowed opposition players into the box unchallenged. It was obvious we needed a new left-back and he needed to have pace, something Jones has and Dickinson doesn't. Centre-back has plagued us for a few seasons now. The last two especially where we conceded 83 in 15-16 and 76 in 16-17. For me Shaun Brisley has to start. He played in the Peterborough team that reached the League One playoffs a few years ago and we're crying out for stability at centre-half. Richard Duffy has been a lot better since Kevin Nolan came in. For me he beats Hollis to that first team spot alongside Brisley. Duffy, for me, was better under Nolan in the second the half of last season than Hollis was and is just a better player in my opinion. I would like to see Pierce Bird play a few games this season. He seems like a good prospect and someone who I think definitely has potential. Onto the wingers and for me it has to be Jorge Grant and Lewis Alessandra. Grant showed last season he is a quality player, especially for this level and has an abundance of creativity. He could very easily hit 10-15 goals for the 2017-18 season. Alessandra has much needed pace which Notts have been begging for, for a few seasons now. I think Nolan can get the best out of the former Hartlepool man. This pushes Terry Hawkridge to the bench but I still see him playing a key role in creating chances for the Magpies. There is also the option of playing these three together behind a lone striker. I don't see Elliot Hodge featuring regularly unless key players pick up injuries. Sam Osborne has great potential but isn't ready yet and a loan spell out to gain first team football is what he needs. Moving into the centre of the park, there are several options to choose from. Rob Milsom, Elliott Hewitt, Liam Walker, Curtis Thompson and Ryan Yates. It's obvious we will miss Michael O'Connor. As captain he led by example and played a massive part in Notts climbing the table. He formed a great partnership with Milsom and in my opinion, Milsom should keep his place in the starting eleven. He is good at pressing teams and is a neat and tidy passer and very calm in possession of the ball. In my opinion, Liam Walker should start alongside him. Walker is more of an attackive minded midfielder and his long shots and set pieces will be a danger to opposition teams. Elliott Hewitt is getting better by the day. He looks at home in the centre of midfield and moving him there from his right back slot could prove a solid decision. Ryan Yates is more of a box to box midfielder and when played, could be very useful in linking defence to attack. I don't see Curtis Thompson playing many games this season and his persistent injury problems haven't helped him at all. Alex Howes is a another player who I see getting loaned out to gain more first team experience. I don't expect a permanent central midfield pairing. I think Milsom, Hewitt, Walker and Yates will all have their turn in the starting XI. Finally, we move into the final third. Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi signed new contracts in the summer and unless we sign a striker before opening day then it will be them two starting up front. As a strike partnership, they have shown they can be effective but not spectacular. Ameobi is a very good player for holding the ball up and this can help bring other players into the game such as Grant and Alessandra as well as Stead. Despite being 6'3, Stead likes the ball more to his feet and Nolan is the first manager, since the ex-Huddersfield man joined Notts, to realise he isn't a target man. He has done very well to score 25 goals in the last two seasons but he is 34 and Ameobi is 35 and it's clear we need someone younger up front who can take us further up the table than my current prediction of 10th. For me we still need a striker if we're going to break into the play-off places. Jonathan Forte can be an asset but breaking into the first team next season will be difficult for him especially if we sign another striker. I prefer him as a striker to a winger but was utilised more as the latter last season but still managed 10 goals. Whilst he only scored 2 in 23 at Crewe, Callum Saunders looks like one for the future. I've heard that his movement is very good but he needs to work on his finishing. My starting XI for Coventry: Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Brisley, Jones, Grant, Milsom, Walker, Alessandra, Stead, Ameobi Squad GK - Adam Collin, Ross Fitzsimons, Branislav Pindroch, Joe Searson-Smithard RB - Matt Tootle, Jordon Richards, Nicky Hunt LB - Dan Jones, Carl Dickinson CB - Shaun Brisley, Richard Duffy, Haydn Hollis, Pierce Bird W - Jorge Grant (RM), Lewis Alessandra (LM,RM), Terry Hawkridge (RM,LM), Elliot Hodge (RM), Sam Osborne (RM) CM - Rob Milsom, Elliott Hewitt, Liam Walker, Curtis Thompson, Ryan Yates, Michael O'Connor (INJ), Alex Howes ST - Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi, Jonathan Forte, Callum Saunders 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. We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
Notts County have completed the signing of midfielder Elliot Hodge following a successful trial with the Magpies. Here is some information about the player's identity, career, achievements and style of play. Full name: Elliot Hodge Date of birth: December 23, 1995 Place of birth: Unknown Age: 21 Height: Unknown Nationality: English Position: Midfielder Preferred foot: Right Last club: Lincoln City Came through the ranks at: Notts County Other clubs he has played for: Stamford, Gainsborough Trinity, Stafford Rangers, Telford United Credentials: "My best quality is probably my pace. I'm a winger, so I like to go out wide and find myself in one on one situations against the defender, I feel that's where I'm most comfortable. I'm more than happy doing the dog work, but the situation where I'm best is on the wing, attacking and being direct." - the player himself. Share your thoughts about this player factfile on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
Notts County have completed the double signing of midfielder Elliot Hodge and defender Nicky Hunt. Hodge, 21, is the son of former Nottingham Forest and England midfielder Steve Hodge, and previously spent time as an apprentice at Meadow Lane. Hunt, meanwhile, was signed by Kevin Nolan during his spell in charge at Leyton Orient and the pair were also teammates at Bolton Wanderers early on in their careers. Speaking about Hodge, Nolan told the Nottingham Post: “Everyone who has spoken to me about Elliott has been asking when we’re going to sign him. "We had an agreement with his agent about him coming in and spending a good pre-season with us. “We wanted to get to know him as a lad, as someone who has previously been here. It was about really getting to know him. “We’ve seen him in different games against different kinds of opposition. When you see players who are direct and quick, people love to see that. They get fans off their feet. “Ells has been great but the first thing about him is his attitude is first class.” Meanwhile, Nolan said the following about Hunt: “I’ve spent a lot of time with Nick. He’s a quality pro and was out of contract. “I get on really well with him and he just brings quality to what is already a good squad which is growing. “He’s got a lot of experience and is really good around the place, so will help a number of the young lads who have come through, with the standards he sets. “He’ll fight Matt Tootle all the way for his position. That’s what we want, we want competition for every position – and I feel we’re getting there now.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!