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Pierce Bird has thanked fellow defenders Richard Duffy and Shaun Brisley for aiding his development at Notts County. The young centre-back, who joined the Magpies last year, is hoping to break into the first team at Meadow Lane this season after signing a two-year deal earlier this month. “They’ve been great with me and I could not have asked them to do a better job,” he told the Nottingham Post. “They help me when I need it and they tell me when I’ve done something wrong. They couldn’t have done any more. “Speaking to Duffs and Bris, they told me that talking is so important because it helps you organise. “I didn’t really have that when I first came here but as the season went on, I’ve grown in confidence and I would say talking is where I’ve majorly improved.” 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.
Notts County goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons and defender Pierce Bird have signed new deals at Meadow Lane. The pair have put pen to paper on extensions that will run until the end of the 2019-20 season. Fitzsimons played 20 games for the Magpies last season, getting an extended run after now-released Adam Collin suffered an injury. However, he lost his place in the team after being sent off in a 2-1 defeat to Crawley Town for lashing out at an opposition player. “At the time [of the Crawley incident] I completely saw red,” Fitzsimons told the official site. “I just didn’t process it in my mind. “I’m not generally like that – everyone has moments when they act before they think, and unfortunately that was mine. “After that, I didn’t really have a case to go into the manager’s office and ask why I wasn’t playing because Adam came back in and was outstanding for us. “The main aim for me now is to come back and try and claim the number-one shirt – and hopefully help the team to top end of the table come the end of next season. “I was over the moon to hear the manager and his staff wanted to keep me on for an extended period.” Bird, meanwhile, joined Notts last summer from non-league Dunkirk and made one appearance for the Magpies in a EFL Trophy defeat to Lincoln City. “From this time last year, a lot of things have changed,” the 19-year-old said. “I’ve been out on loan [to Alfreton and Leek], so I picked up a good amount of gametime, and hopefully now I’ll kick on into pre-season and see where that takes me from there. “I’m looking to be around the first team and in the matchday squads more than last year. It would be a dream come true to break into the first team and get 10-15 games under my belt.” 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.
Notts County boss Kevin Nolan has thrown his support behind young defender Pierce Bird and exonerated him from his mistake against Lincoln City. The 18-year-old made his competitive Magpies debut in Tuesday's EFL Trophy tie at Sincil Bank and impressed alongside Haydn Hollis at the back. However, Bird was unlucky to concede an own goal when Josh Ginnelly's cross caused havoc in the box and it was diverted into the County net, on the way to a 2-1 defeat. “I thought he did really well,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “He was with three lads who have had a lot of experience, he won a lot of headers and did everything right. “He made the right decisions more often than not and looked a composed figure at the back. “I was delighted with him, but we have to get him fitter and used to this tempo and playing at this tempo for a long time. “He’s a young boy who has stepped up, but he should be delighted and his family should be so proud of him. “He has proven how much he has come on in leaps and bounds in just the few months he has been here. “It’s the next step for him now and we have to make sure we keep working hard. He has to learn the game and make sure he stays around us if he does go out on loan." 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.
Notts County boss Kevin Nolan has praised young defender Pierce Bird ahead of his competitive debut against Lincoln City in the EFL Trophy tonight. The 18-year-old, previously at non-league club Dunkirk, quit his job to go on trial at Meadow Lane in the summer and was rewarded with his commitment and skill with a deal. “He’s a down to earth kid. His family are right behind him,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post ahead of the trip to Sincil Bank. “He left his job just to come here on trial so it shows how much he wanted it. “He’s been magnificent since he came in. He’s been brilliant since we spotted him at the end of last season. “I’m positive he’ll perform well. It’s about him enjoying the experience. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of him in the future but I feel this was the right time to bring him in after the progress he’s made. “If it doesn’t work we’ll go back to the drawing board with him to get him to where we feel he belongs. There’s no pressure. Pierce Bird will be at this club for a while.” 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 announced three signings in one fell swoop on Monday evening with Branislav Pindroch, Pierce Bird and Callum Saunders all putting pen to paper on deals at Meadow Lane. Pindroch is the first Slovakian to be on the books at Notts - born in the central city of Banska Bystrica, the 25-year-old came through the ranks at FK Dukla Banska Bystrica before joining Czech club MFK Karvina in 2013. The goalkeeper had been on trial with the Magpies and came off the bench during the recent friendly against Nottingham Forest. Defender Bird, meanwhile, had also tried out for Notts and scored the winning goal in the victory at York City last weekend, the 18-year-old working as a civil engineer in a factory before penning a deal at Meadow Lane. Striker Saunders, the son of former Liverpool striker Dean, has also been on trial with the club and scored in the friendly victory over Alfreton Town. The 21-year-old came through the academy system at Crewe Alexandra, scoring twice in 35 appearances for the Railwaymen before being released at the end of the 2016-17 season. Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. We at Pride of Nottingham want you to enjoy all our content for free. If you fancy helping us provide even better content, however, please consider contributing to PON by clicking here!
On Monday, Notts County announced three new signings in one go, recruiting goalkeeper Branislav Pindroch, defender Pierce Bird and striker Callum Saunders. Here is what the players themselves have said about their move to Meadow Lane, as well as some thoughts by Magpies manager Kevin Nolan. Branislav Pindroch His thoughts "I am very happy. This is a big opportunity for me and I can't wait to be out there on the pitch. "Kevin Nolan is a big name. I am happy to be able to meet him and work for him." Nolan's thoughts "Mark Crossley had a tip-off about Branislav from one of his contacts so we had a good look at footage of him before bringing him in. "We think he's going to be another good addition. He has demonstrated a first-class attitude and has all the attributes. "We have two goalkeepers in now to push Adam Collin for the starting jersey because they all want to be number one. "It will be an interesting battle over the course of the season." Pierce Bird His thoughts "I was working as a civil engineer but this was an opportunity I could not turn down. My manager is a football fan and was very supportive of me following my dream. "It's a big jump and the quality is completely different to what I'm used to but I feel I have settled in well and performed on the training ground. "I never thought this would happen but I am glad it's sorted now. The club is moving forward and it's good to be part of it. "The manager has told me to keep working as hard as I can to show what I've got." Nolan's thoughts "Pierce is a great kid and we are absolutely delighted to have him here. "There is nobody more deserving of a contract - he has been fantastic since he walked through the door. "We played against him in a friendly at the back end of last season and were really impressed so we told him to go away over the summer and work on a few things, which he did. "I think he's lost more than a stone in the space of two months and he has a real desire to be a footballer. "Hopefully we can continue to improve him. He is another one who we feel can get better the longer he is with us. "He took a real punt coming to us because he was told his scholarship as a civil engineer would no longer be there for him if he came on trial with us for four or five weeks,. "We spoke to his parents, who have been great, and thankfully it has paid off for him." Callum Saunders His thoughts "I'm delighted to be here. I came in on trial initially but luckily the gaffer has taken a chance on me and hopefully I can replay him. "I like to run in behind defenders, stretch teams and run the channels. We have a couple of targetmen so hopefully I can bring something a bit different. "There is a good, experienced squad here and I think we have a good chance of going up. "I have spoken to Shola [Ameobi], Jon [Stead] and Alan [Smith] because there is nobody better for me to learn from than them. "The gaffer was a poacher too and I like to think of myself as one so hopefully I can pick up a few things from him." Nolan's thoughts "He plays off the shoulder, runs in behind and does all of the ugly stuff well, like closing down and running the channels. "We are pleased to have him here. I have spoken to his dad, Dean, a lot and he said Callum just needs a chance. "You know he will not go home and be told the wrong things. He will have good influences around him - his dad knows what it takes to be a professional. "I don't think there are many better players for a young lad to learn from than Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi. "Their influence can only be positive for him and he needs to make sure he gets his head down and works hard. He will get opportunities - it's about taking them now." Share your thoughts about this 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!
Kevin Nolan has earmarked Callum Saunders and Dean Hodge as two Notts Country trialists that he will take a closer look at in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Magpies defender Richard Duffy has had good words to say about Pierce Bird. Speaking about Saunders and Hodge, Nolan told the Nottingham Post: "I've know Dean (Saunders) a while now and he's a good fella. "Some of Callum's movement was really sharp in the game on Saturday. I thought he could have done better with his one on one, and I think he will be disappointed with himself too. "Elliott did himself no harm at all either. We will have a closer look at them two in the coming week or so then we'll then take it from there." Speaking about Bird, meanwhile, Duffy said: "Pierce has done really well. I was speaking to the gaffer and he told me what level he has come from. "I was quite surprised because I hadn't realised the level of football he has been playing at. "But to come in and settle like he has in a dressing room of big characters and big names is a credit to him. "In the two games we've played he's done really well. But now we are playing against better class opposition we will see what he is made of." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. 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!
Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest league 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.