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  1. Kevin Nolan has admitted that transfer deadline day is not enjoyable for him as a manager but is happy that he can now concentrate on Notts County's next fixture. The final day of the January window was hectic for the Magpies, with Derby County forward Mason Bennett's loan arrival not formally announced to the anxious fanbase until 11:30pm. In the end it proved a fruitful month of business for Notts, with Ryan Yates's recall offset by the arrival of three midfielders, plus a centre-back and the aforementioned striker helping to bolster the ranks. Up next for the club is a League Two home game with Crewe Alexandra, which is predicted to bring a record crowd due to Alan Hardy's "2 for Crewe" offer. “I don’t really enjoy the last day of the window,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “It’s too much because a lot of it gets in the way of what we are trying to do on a day-to-day basis leading up to the game. “I’ve probably spoken more about players who are not here, than the players who are over the last month. “It’s not for me, but it’s only my second proper window. I must admit I am not a big fan of it now I am sat in the manager’s chair, whereas when you are a player it was quite enjoyable watching it. “I think a lot of managers are of the same opinion. When you pick the phone up and speak to them ‘‘it’s how are you?’ and the response is ‘mad busy trying to do this deal or that one’. “But it’s part and parcel of the job and I will learn how to get better at it. I’ve got now my squad and it’s settled. We can now concentrate on the game ahead.” 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. For the second year in a row, Notts County have been busy in the final days of the transfer window. Last year, the Magpies exited the transfer embargo with just a few days left to go and were able to bring in several players, many of whom were loanees (including Jorge Grant - how did that one work out again?) plus Mark Yeates joining permanently. This time round, the whole Ryan Yates debacle has largely been put behind us with the acquisition of Noor Husin, who was superb against Swansea City and has been tipped by Alan Hardy to improve as he gets more accustomed to the league to the point that Yates' absence will no longer be felt. Matty Virtue has also been brought in on loan from Liverpool and although he may need a little more acclimatising to the rigours of first-team football, he is also a very highly rated player - you'd need to be to captain the Under-23s team. Oh, and of course Liam Noble, although signed last year, was registered in January upon the opening of the transfer window. Seems like an age away now following all that happened since. This month the wear and tear from the overload of fixtures has shown in the defence with Matt Tootle, Richard Duffy and Shaun Brisley missing the odd game, so a reinforcement at the back was a necessity. Hardy promised and he delivered, with Ben Hall joining from Brighton & Hove Albion on loan. Another captain of his club's Under-23s team, Hall got a fair bit of first-team action - 18 games, according to Transfermarkt - at previous club Motherwell but hasn't been used by Chris Hughton as of yet, so like Virtue, he may need a little acclimatising to senior football. And then came the long, nervous wait for a forward to bolster the ageing and war-weary attacking ranks, which ticked past 11pm and left many fans increasingly nervous. But once again, the signing was made, as Mason Bennett arrived for a temporary stay at Meadow Lane until the end of the season. Bennett is very highly rated by the Rams fanbase, many fans saying he's a superb player that has just been unlucky with injuries. But the fact he's featured this season in the Championship, the EFL Cup and even the FA Cup, against Manchester United, means he is clearly highly rated by Gary Rowett. On the whole I am satisfied with the month's transfer dealings. Let's face it, we were never going to sign a key player from another lower-league team with the season still in full swing, but the players that have been brought in are all young up-and-coming prospects who will learn from County's elder statesmen and in turn give them a little respite from time to time - after all, we're likely to clock up more than 50 games this season in all competitions. The FA Cup run has been superb but the bread and butter of the league has been disappointing in January, so fingers crossed the signings will not only slot in seamlessly and give the team a bit more quality, but also ensuring that the older players in the team can be used more sparingly and as a result will show more of their own quality when they do play. 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.
  3. Alan Hardy has revealed that Notts County currently have a three-man shortlist of players they are looking to sign before the January transfer window closes. So far this month, the Magpies have brought in the midfield trio of Matty Virtue, Noor Husin and Liam Noble, who was registered after linking up with the club last year. The general consensus among fans is the need for a new centre-back and forward and, although Hardy has not spoken of positions, he believes each of the three players being looked at will help "push us over the line". “We are still looking for that special player and there are three on the list,” he told the Nottingham Post. "But, as (Kevin Nolan) said all along, whoever comes in needs to go straight into the first team. “It has to be a player who can make a difference and help push us over the line. “We are still in the hunt for all three but it is unlikely we are going to hear anything until the closing week of the window. “That’s because a lot of players wait it out to see which other moves might become available. “But what it does mean is that it all builds to an exciting finish in the window.” 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. January has been the quiet month that I had expected from the club, going into the transfer window I only felt two positions needed reinforcing – however the loss of Ryan Yates did mean that the midfield required some patching up. I am pleased with how Notts have conducted their business so far, bringing in Matty Virtue on loan and Noor Husin on a permanent deal seems good business. Also, the long awaited arrival of Liam Noble appears to add a bit more depth – however we will need to see him fully match fit first. The departure of Haydn Hollis for me highlights Kevin Nolan’s clear plan towards improving the squad, however with no replacement yet introduced to the ranks, it’s a position I feel has more importance now. There’s no denying that the Magpies require a striker up top, I’ve been saying this all season (in fact since Coventry). In addition, with the questions always hanging over Jonathan Forte's playing time, it does leave things looking somewhat bleak up top. Yet from a defensive point of view, I would be extremely disappointed if another solid CB wasn’t brought into the squad. And whilst I hope that we do also bring in a striker that has pace and knows where the opposition’s net is – I really don’t feel we will be seeing this wish granted. The two areas are vastly important, with the midfield looking stronger than ever on paper. I struggle to recall the last time that we looked so capable on paper in this department and, the reaffirmation from Forest that Jorge Grant will remain on loan is nothing more than an added bonus. I feel the loss of both Yates and Grant would have caused us some teething problems, especially at a point of the season which is well known for being tricky and demanding. It’s honestly refreshing to see a manager go about ‘improving’ the squad and quickly identifying ways to fix key areas. Previous managers seemed destined to retain some of the weaker links within the squad and I feel this never really allowed us to strengthen properly – in fact I think it’s one of the underlining issues which hindered our true chances of progression previously. This said, it would be that negative if we weren’t able to sign a striker and I do believe we have adequate cover in defence. It’s just that wishful to see the club continue their improvements throughout the squad and I honestly believe that these areas being reinforced would strengthen our promotion chances – yet also give us more flexibility when it comes to knowing where we are next season. Securing another solid CB would take the burden off playing someone that perhaps isn’t as comfortable at the back as Shaun Brisley or Richard Duffy. It would be a massive addition that would give us cover if injury or poor form set in, or even just a tactical advantage if we required something a little different. Likewise, a striker would take the burden of our ageing stars Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi. I keep saying it, yet I feel the right player coming in could learn a vast amount from these two players – their experience alone is something, which would appeal to a player looking to progress the leagues. That fight and hunger would be something would no doubt help us when the time arrives to replace either of the two – as let’s face it, this doesn’t seem that far a way. However, the togetherness of the squad and current spirit I believe will be enough to ensure there’s no slip ups. I also do feel the club is in good shape for attracting players of that extra quality, whilst being able to work with other clubs' players does seem like an advantage at this stage. 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. It’s a good time to be a Notts fan. We’re top of the league. Our manager recently signed a new contract. And we are through to the second round of the FA Cup. Alan Hardy has already said that we have an eye towards the January transfer window and this is something that excites many in the Notts fan base because despite being top of the league, we are looking to get even better, and we are trying to sustain our position in the top three of League Two. The stepping stones look already in place with the capture of Liam Noble on a free transfer. That ticks off one position which was needed; a creative midfielder. Hopefully, Kevin Nolan can bring about the best in Noble and we can see a different player to the one we saw here just over a year ago. Now we’ve got the creative midfielder out of the way, there are three key areas Notts need to strengthen to help keep our place amongst the automatic promotion places. Firstly, and most importantly, a pacey striker is a must. Age is also a factor - he must be young. All our main strikers are over thirty. We have already expressed our interest in Mansfield striker Danny Rose, but that speculation was quickly swept under the carpet by Steve Evans. We were also linked with Andy Cook in the summer from Tranmere, but the former Barrow striker stayed at Prenton Park. One player I would like us to sign is Kristian Dennis and although this may require a fee, Chesterfield are in dire straits and Hardy has already said he is willing to back Nolan in the transfer window for a striker. And I would still like to see us go in for Jerry Yates I’d rather the striker sign permanent than it be a loan. Other strikers we could potentially look at are Corey Whitely from Dagenham & Redbridge, who is currently second top scorer in the National League with eight goals. Sitting just behind him on seven is Oladapo Afolayan of Solihull Moors. Solihull are currently bottom of the National League but Afolayan has done well to score this many in a poor side, at this stage of the season. However, this might be tricky as the Moors frontman is also being targeted by Barnsley and Bolton. Alan Hardy said we are also looking to bring a winger to the club in January. This is crucial as it will provide good cover for Terry Hawkridge, Lewis Alessandra and Jorge Grant. The winger must also have a killer instinct, a good cross on him, and is good at beating defenders. Some of the wingers I mentioned in my article about who I thought we should have signed in the summer are still available and haven’t played much this season. Milan Lalkovic has only made one appearance for Portsmouth this season. Surprisingly, Pompey’s top scorer from last season, Kal Naismith, has only made nine appearances. This is lower than all the other wingers at Pompey: Matty Kennedy (13), Jamal Lowe (15), Kyle Bennett (14) and Gareth Evans (11). Although this may be a long shot, there is no harm in trying. Also mentioned in my summer article were Luton wingers Lawson D’Ath and Luke Gambin. The third part of our January transfer window business is the need for some cover at centre back. Most of the options I mentioned for the summer transfer window signed for other clubs. A centre back is a priority as Haydn Hollis doesn’t seem to be picked anymore for league games and Elliott Hewitt can’t keep covering there as he is far better suited to playing in midfield. We may have to consider the loan market for either the winger or centre-back due to the money it may cost in signing a first team striker, although we may sign the player from the club after they have released him like we did with Shaun Brisley and Mark Yeates. However, the centre back who we buy must be good enough cover as our first choice pairing of Richard Duffy and Shaun Brisley are unbelievably solid and are unlikely to be replaced in the starting line-up. Also, the defender we do buy must push Duffy and Brisley to their limits to remain in the first team constantly as Kevin Nolan always talks about competition for places. The players I have in mind but may not come off are Tom Davies and Dominic Hyam (both Coventry) and Joe Walsh (MK). If we get the quality needed in the right areas and they settle in well at Notts, then a top three position is a very realistic target. 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. Alan Hardy has expressed his delight at how well Notts County are doing but will not rest on his laurels and is already looking ahead to the January transfer window. A somewhat shaky October for the Magpies ended on a high note when Newport County were comprehensively beaten at Meadow Lane, Jorge Grant bagging a double in a 3-0 win. The result, combined with Luton Town's defeat to Coventry City, edged Notts back up to first in the table. Ahead of Saturday's game, Hardy praised the arrival of former player Liam Noble and also insisted that the club's current success and infrastructure would be a draw for prospective new players. Hardy wrote in his weekly Nottingham Post column: "[Notts] have exceeded everybody’s expectations and there is an unmistakable buzz about what this season could have in store for us come May. "But I think it’s crucial we don’t stand back and just admire the job that has been done so far. "We want to keep pushing forward, which is why the future is always a topic of conversation here. "We have already started talking about the January transfer window and discussing potential targets who can aid us in our quest for success this season. "We have, of course, already signed Liam Noble. We were absolutely delighted to bring him in given our much-publicised chase for him in the summer. "I don’t think there is any doubt about his quality and I am sure, under Kevin Nolan’s leadership, he will thrive in this environment. "We were willing to pay big money for him so to get him on a free is not just a great deal in terms of what he will bring on the pitch, but also on a business level. "With Liam being a massive Newcastle fan, I don’t think he could be at a better a club given we play in black and white and are called the Magpies! "Not only that, he is working alongside a number of iconic ex-Newcastle figures here - players who I am sure Liam looks up to and who can help him improve on the undoubted talent he has. "We are always looking to improve the squad and, already, we have been contacted by agents about players that may be available to us in January. "Given the extraordinary progress we have made as a football club, both on and off the pitch, there’s no denying the fact that players want to come and be part of what we are trying to achieve. "The league position obviously helps immensely, but I think a lot of players from the outside looking in can see the ambition we have to make this club a huge success. "Whether they are strikers, midfielders or defenders, the list of players is growing by the day so already we have spoken about what we may potentially need come the New Year. "It’s made for some fascinating conversations and, as I’ve expressed numerous times, I will back the manager in helping him fulfil our vision for this great and historic football club." 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. Alam Hardy has revealed how one prospective Notts County target - a free agent - asked the club for more than £4,000 a week to join. The Magpies strengthened their ranks throughout the course of the summer and, although there was some mild interest in a number of players late on in the transfer window, nothing came of it. Hardy wrote in the Nottingham Post: "The window closed last week and I was originally of the opinion that deadline day added great excitement. "But, on reflection, it seems farcical that some clubs were left racing around to beat the deadline given they’ve had all summer to plan. "Clubs have months to put a strategy in place, identifying what their team will look like in terms of shape and so on. "You develop a list of players who fit the vision, so it beggars belief that some clubs need right up until the very last few minutes or seconds of the window to do a deal. "Let’s be frank, these clubs are multi-million pound businesses, not corner shops. "Don’t get me wrong, there are genuine cases of managers needing players at short notice, but I think my biggest problem is the hyperbole surrounding the final day of the window, which means fans tend to judge your entire transfer business on the outcome of that 24 hours. "You can sign player after player, but the manager Kevin Nolan and I view this far more strategically than it appears other clubs do. "We pursued some exceptional targets but unfortunately couldn’t get them over the line. It didn't mean, however, that we then started scrambling around for others. "Those players would have been great additions, no doubt, but it was not the be all and end all. "You also have to bear in mind if you bring five players in on the final day, what kind of message does that send to the rest of the squad? "Of course, we still have the opportunity to sign players who are out of contract and there are plenty of those available. "I have to say some of their demands have been off the scale in terms of wages. But it’s like that in any industry at the moment. "In construction, raw materials have gone up by a single digit in terms of percentage, but salaries have risen by 20 to 30 percent. It’s not just football. It’s right across the board. "That’s being reflected in players’ demands. A player was put to us recently and I enquired what he would be after in terms of wages. "He wanted more than £4,000 a week. It’s crazy. Why have they approached a League Two club asking for those kinds of sums? "A lot of these players still feel they can play in the Championship or League One, but if you haven’t played football for a few months, clubs at that level simply won’t take the risk." 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. Alan Hardy has declared himself delighted with Notts County's transfer business in the summer window and feels there was no need to add to it on deadline day. The Magpies have recruited 11 players on a permanent basis over the summer, as well as two loanees, all prior to 31 August. Most of them have played a role in the opening-month haul of two wins and a draw from their first four League Two games. There was talk of a striker playing for a Championship club having trained with Notts and was looking to sign, but ultimately the window shut without any late additions. Hardy wrote on the official Notts website: "My second transfer window at the helm is now at an end – and what a different experience it was to my first! "Back in January we faced a mad dash to exit our transfer embargo before bolstering the squad with a number of late signings to give Kevin Nolan the best possible chance of keeping us in the EFL. "He comfortably achieved that, as he promised he would, setting us up nicely for the summer. "This window, we were keen to get the bulk of our business done early to allow our new signings to settle in properly before the season began and to help the manager and his coaching staff formulate a strong plan for the season ahead. "I'm delighted with the way our business has panned out and I believe our position in the top seven is a good reflection of the positive strides we've made in the transfer market. "No doubt many of you will have been keeping an eager eye on our website and social media today in the hope of some exciting news, but Kevin and I are happy with our squad and saw no reason to add to it today. "We will continue to explore targets with a view to January but, as always, our selection process will be carefully thought-out with the best interests of the club at heart. "We have faith in this group and believe they are getting better day after day. "Your support, which has been magnificent so far this season, will be vital in helping the players reach their full potential. "Stick with us and let's see how far we can go. COYP!" 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. There can be no doubt that Notts County have been very shrewd in the transfer market this summer. There is a good blend of experienced players who know the lower leagues inside out (Dan Jones, Shaun Brisley, Nicky Hunt, Lewis Alessandra) and players who have spent most, if not all of their career so far in non-league and are hungry and eager to make the step up (Terry Hawkridge, Ross Fitzsimons, Pierce Bird, Elliot Hodge). There are also loanees from a higher league (Jorge Grant, Ryan Yates) and a couple that fit in the miscellaneous (or perhaps "wildcard") category, such as Liam Walker (a year at Portsmouth, rest of his career abroad), Callum Saunders (young, came through the ranks at Crewe and has only ever played for them), and Branislav Pindroch (first spell playing abroad). On the whole, I am happy with the bulk of these signings. I mean, I still think there is room for another reinforcement or two, a centre-back and a forward perhaps, but this is more just about the players that have already come in. I know some fans continue to lambast owner Alan Hardy for having promised "wow" signings and delivered more modest names, but let's face it, League Two is not a "wow" league. It's a league full of plodding lumps who kick the ball straight up and aren't shy to let you know they're there with a shoulder-barge here, an elbow there and crunching tackles everywhere. Ricardo Moniz tried to play "wow" football and he and his flair players got massively shown up in the unforgiving dungeon of the fourth tier. Maybe Hardy regrets talking about "wow" players now, but it's no big deal, he is fairly new to this football ownership malark so really, we should let it slide. One thing I would like to see more of in the coming transfer windows is Notts identifying players who are performing well at other clubs, and signing them for cash. Granted, this kind of business is a rarity in the lower leagues. Players' contracts tend to be for one or two years, and often they are allowed to run down, either by the player or by the club, so when a footballer joins a new club, it's likely to be as a free transfer. However, splashing the cash for a couple of top players, either in League Two or the National League, would not only provide the obvious benefit of having them in Notts colours, but is also a signal of intent - "we have the money, we're not afraid to spend it, and we mean business on and off the pitch". Now, I know what you're thinking - "we tried buying Liam Noble from Forest Green". Indeed, and that's exactly the intent I'm thinking of. Unfortunately, the whole "ex" element and the protractedness of it all ended up making the whole thing look like some rubbish reality TV or Jeremy Kyle episode involving love triangles (ie most of them). One school of thought suggests that Notts would have given the message of "yep, he's our old player, but we can have him back at a whim", the same thing that Manchester United did with Paul Pogba and Chelsea tried to do with Romelu Lukaku, but in truth, the buying club looks silly even if they pull it off - "you've blown X amount on money on a player you just let go, what does that say about your scouting/developing?" So going forward, no point wasting time on exes - just identify a key player or two who are impressing for their clubs in the fourth or fifth tier, offer some cash, ramp up the charm offensive, buy them, and give that signal of intent to the rest of the league. Obviously not many, just one or two, while the rest will be the frees and the loanees as per the lower league. It will be interesting to see whether players can be persuaded to leave their clubs mid-season in the January transfer window, but if Notts put themselves in a top-seven position come the new year, then it's worth a try. 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.
  10. Jon Stead has suggested that Notts County are "not a million miles away" from being the finished product, and would welcome new signings in the dressing room. The Magpies have brought in 11 players on a permanent basis and two loanees this summer, while every squad member offered a new contract went on to put pen to paper. On the pitch, Notts have enjoyed a decent start to the 2017/18 League Two season, claiming two wins and a draw from their first four fixtures. The last game, however, saw the team relinquish a two-goal lead to Accrington Stanley, who left Meadow Lane with a point in a 2-2 draw. Stead told the Nottingham Post: “We’re satisfied but we wanted more. We put an expectation on ourselves probably more so than the manager does. “We want to be competing at the top end. We’ve got a point against a very good Accrington side when I don’t think we’re anywhere near where we can be as a squad. We take the point and go again. “We’re not a million miles away. If we can strengthen the squad then anyone would want that. You always want to be better. “We’ve got a good group though with lads who are chomping at the bit and not playing. We’ve got good competition. “That’s not something I’ve seen since I’ve been here. We’ve got a fantastic dressing room too. “That side of it is the best I’ve seen here and it’s driven by the manager and the characters he signs.” 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. 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.
  12. The Premier League transfer window has been in the news this week (well, it's always in the news, but the behind the scenes stuff, I mean) as there are going to be discussions over whether clubs in the top flight should be forbidden from buying players once the first game of the season has got underway. Now, the EFL is also looking to discuss a similar concept with its clubs. A spokesman said: "The EFL Board and its clubs have previously expressed the opinion that closing the summer transfer window in advance of the season commencing would be an improvement on the current position. "On this basis we will be tabling the matter for discussion with clubs in September. "It will be important that all the consequences of such a decision are fully considered, as the requirements of our clubs are different to those in Europe's top flight leagues." What do you think? Should clubs in the EFL be forbidden from buying new players once the season is underway? Or should it only be done by the Premier League, who have the resources to cope with it? Let PON know.
  13. Kevin Nolan has suggested that Notts County's transfer dealings this summer are not yet finished and may still add a few more players before deadline day if they're good enough. Following a slow start to the transfer window this off-season, the Magpies have made a spate of signings, both permanent and on loan. Whilst it would seem that the Notts squad is now big enough, Nolan pointed back to last January, when more additions were brought in on deadline day. “I am sure we will be dipping in and out of the window before it shuts at the end of August,” Nolan told the Nottingham Post. “If you recall last January, we made signings on the very last day such as Jorge Grant and Marc Bola because we’d just come out of the embargo. “I am sure with the amount of quality that crops up then we’ll have a look at it. But I am very pleased with the work and the quality we have brought in. “We’ve just got to make sure we do the business on the pitch, but if somebody special comes up I am sure we will discuss it and see what we can do.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with 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!
  14. It's clear that Notts need signings. Even before we played our first two friendlies, against Rolls-Royce and Basford, it was very clear. In terms of transfer activity, our three signings so far puts us 20th in League Two in terms of how many players we've brought in. At the current moment in time we can only just about fill a matchday squad. Improvements and a bit of squad depth is definitely needed. Every position, apart from left-back, needs either a new signing who is going to come into the starting XI or a new signing which will add depth. Firstly let's start in goal. Adam Collin showed last season he can be prone to making more than one mistake in a game and many fans have wanted him replaced. Although he has his faults, it's hard to see Kevin Nolan dropping him from the first team. Joe Searson-Smithard is Notts through and through but at the moment I don't think he's ready for the first team, though it would be nice to see him become our No.1 in the near future. A few goalkeepers have been on trial for the two friendlies as expected in pre season with Connor Brennan, Joe Cracknell and Ross Fitzsimons joining the team. Any of these three would be nice just as back-up. Right-back was a bit of the problem until the other day when me and my brother realised Jordan Richards could be back-up to Matt Tootle. In my opinion, we should have kept Luther Wildin as back-up, so we didn't have to spend in that area. As we know Tootle picked up a few injuries last season but under the management of Kevin Nolan he has been solid. But if injuries start piling up, we need someone to fill the spot. Well well well. The wonderful world of centre-backs. Everyone has split opinions on Richard Duffy and Haydn Hollis. If you watched my vlogs last season, you'll know I was very critical of Duffy during the awful run between November and early January. But under Nolan, he was transformed and had a solid partnership with Hollis and on occasions, Thierry Audel to see us comfortably to safety. Hollis has divided opinion ever since the Great Escape in 2014. Well, here he is, still with us after signing another new contract. This year he has to prove his future lies here. We have the manager, the owner, the facitlies and now is his time to prove the haters wrong and prove that he belongs in the Notts first team. But sadly we're not all rosy in this part of the pitch. In my opinion a Duffy-Hollis partnership will not take us up. And at the minute they are our only two centrebacks at the club. Mike Edwards is back-up. He's our fitness coach. Edwards cannot be playing again next season if we want to win promotion. He's a nice guy but he shouldn't have to be called upon on the pitch. So one or two required in this area. Pierce Bird from Dunkirk (who I think we should sign) has been on trial and youth team player Peter Dearle has played in friendlies. At the start of the window, Notts approached Lincoln City captain Luke Waterfall but he rejected our terms and offered to sign a contract extension at Sincil Bank. A move for a defender recently collapsed so we are back to square one. I would like to sign ex-Wycombe defender Aaron Pierre but after recently having a trial at Bristol City but not being offered a contract it's probable that he might end up in League One. Kevin Toner on loan from Aston Villa wouldn't be a bad transfer as he spent time on loan at a Bradford City side that reached the play-off final last season. James Wilson didn't start regurlarly for Sheffield United last season so he could be worth a look as well. This would make sense as the Blades recently bought Richard Stearman in from Wolves. Another centre-back I'd like is Dominic Ball from Rotherham whether on loan or permanent. He is also a player I said we should have got on loan in January. Tom Anderson on loan from Burnley would be another decent signing as he has had previous experience of lower league after two loan spells at Chesterfield and one at Carlisle. Moving onto the wing and yes, whilst we have signed Lewis Alessandra and Terry Hawkridge, we are still a little short. And if injuries happen we need players to replace them. I would like to see Sam Osborne get more games this season but whether he's ready or not remains to be seen. Milan Lalkovic on loan from Portsmouth would not be a bad shout as he hasn't played regularly for last season's League Two champions. He scored 7 goals from the wing in a Walsall team that reached the play offs in League One in 2016. That was enough for Pompey to pay compensation for his services last summer. A winger from the Premier League or Championship on loan wouldn't go amiss, and as shown previously they can be a big threat at League Two level. Luke Gambin or Lawson D'Ath from Luton would be good signings for this level as well. Both signed in January and so far D'Ath has struggled to break into the Hatters first team. Moving swiftly into centre midfield and the saga that Notts have only just seen the back of. Notts made four bids for Liam Noble and none were successful. The saga has consumed the Magpies' transfer window up until now and no matter how much Notts tried, Forest Green weren't going to budge. At the start, it was clear £100k was going to be enough, but only a few weeks and four bids later, FGR manager Mark Cooper told BBC Radio Gloucester that the former Notts midfielder was not for sale. Since we wanted him, I said I didn't want him back because of his previous disciplinary record, he's not worth £100k and there are better out there. One player who is better and one that we should of got was Louis Reed, on loan from Sheffield United but recently signed for Chesterfield. Jermaine Anderson of Peterborough is another player I would aim for on loan but has injury problems in the last year or two. I would like to sign Connor Dimaio but I can't see him leaving Chesterfield. Other players we could look at in this area are Ryan Yates (Forest), Jordon Houghton (Doncaster), Giorgio Rasulo (MK Dons) and Ben Whitfield (Bournemouth). Strikers are needed. I've constantly said on Twitter that strikers are a must. Stead and Ameobi are 34 and 35 respectively and whilst Stead scored 14 last season we need someone else and someone with pace. Notts had were linked with Matt Godden but that soon fizzled out. Football League World have said that we should get Toni Martinez on loan from West Ham. The Spaniard has already had one loan spell previously and that was at Oxford United last season. With a few West Ham fans wanting him to be given a chance, this would a fantastic signing for League Two level. Another Premier League player we should be interested in taking on loan is Callum Roberts from Newcastle. He has done really well in the youth team at Newcastle and had a short spell in the England Under 20 team. Moving away from loanees and into permanent transfers. Oliver Hawkins is a player we really need to look at, he scored 18 goals in the National League last season for Dagenham and Redbridge. Portsmouth have already declared their interest but do not want to pay the money. Dagenham have said they want £250k for Hawkins but this price seems a bit much. Another striker who scored 18 in the National League last season is Danny Johnson from Gateshead. A delve into non-league for strikers would not be a bad decision at all. Thank you to ARLukomski for the article. Please check out his YouTube channel by clicking here. 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!
  15. Kevin Nolan has asked Notts County fans to show "trust and patience" in him, his staff and Alan Hardy with regards to bringing players through the door. So far, the Magpies have recruited Lewis Alessandra, Terry Hawkridge and Dan Jones, with a number of other player signings in the pipeline and several other rumours. The relatively slow pace of progress in the transfer window has left some Notts fans disgruntled, especially with regards to nearby clubs like Mansfield Town who have been signing players willy-nilly. However, Nolan is confident with what's going on behind the scenes, and is urging the Black and White faithful to keep the faith. "We have had targets for a while now and we will stick to them," he told the official Notts site. "There have been conversations between us and other clubs but we don't want to be in negotiations for too long and not getting the players in until the final weeks of pre-season. "We want them to be able to withstand what our players have already been going through since they came back. "Hopefully we will bring a few more in but I don't want to put a number on it. A lot of fans will be frustrated seeing other clubs sign a number of players but we are a club in transition. "Looking back to where we were when Alan and I first came in, we are in a fantastic position and can hopefully build this club step-by-step. "All I can do is ask for trust and patience in myself, my staff and Alan because we are working as hard as we can to get players through the door. "We have to do our due diligence and make sure they are the right character and that they want to come here. They have to be able to contribute to the club and hit the ground running. We want to get them in as quickly as possible but it's not always the way in football. You have to be patient. "You never know what will pop up later in the window so we don't want to do all of our work very early on. People can suddenly become available and you think 'We would have had him', so we are not blowing our budget. We have to be shrewd so that if those one or two players pop up - as they did in January - we can go and get them." 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.
  16. With the League Two season over (aside from the playoff final), it's all about planning for the upcoming campaign and, as standard, player recruitment is part of that. With clubs all across the leagues deciding on which players to retain and which to release, plus those who opt to leave despite having been offered fresh terms, it's important to keep tabs on players who can be snapped up by Notts and get some discussions going (and we can even play our part by letting Alan Hardy know about them - chances are they'll have it covered, but you never know). The Beeb has a pretty comprehensive page which provides day-to-day news on player situations across the leagues - if everyone on here keeps tabs on the players, gets discussions going and potentially makes enough noise, it can only be a good thing. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/39708953
  17. When it comes to prospective signings being mentioned, or indeed players being officially recruited by Notts County, they tend to be a mixed bag in terms of what league they come from - some from the Premier League, some from the Football League, some from non-league. What kind of player would you be most happy to see linked with the Magpies? Please cast your vote and share your thoughts.
  18. Alan Hardy says he is happy to pay transfer fees for Notts County's targets, so long as it's within reason and fits with the club's financial structure. The Magpies owner funded the arrival of Lewis Alessandra on Friday when he agreed an undisclosed fee with Hartlepool United for the player. Alessandra was the second signing to arrive at Meadow Lane, after Terry Hawkridge's arrival from National League champions Lincoln City. "It is really important that we get the balance right between players that we pay fees for, those we sign on a free and those who will come on loan," he said. "Even though our budget is bigger than what we originally said, we do have to watch how much we do pay. "But I am sure that once Kevin Nolan (Magpies boss) returns from holiday, there will be one or two more players he fancies. "If they command a fee, then as long as it fits in with the structure of the football club, and as we did with Lewis, then I am happy to support the manager. "You have to make sure the deal makes sense and as Lewis proved, that was one that did, given his contribution to Hartlepool's team last season." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  19. The EFL regular season is now over, so for the clubs that aren't contesting the playoffs, it's full swing ahead in planning for next season. Notts County owner Alan Hardy has this week written two columns on the Nottingham Post about his experiences of the transfer window so far, and what the club hopes to achieve and obtain in the upcoming one. On his baptism of fire in the transfer window Within two weeks of me taking on this role at Meadow Lane we were straight into the January transfer window. That was a real baptism of fire. I was unable to sleep at night following intense negotiations over as little as £10 or £20 a week, and you wouldn't believe all the incentives that get built in along the way – appearance money, goal bonuses, all sorts. I had been thrown in right at the deep end but I think it set me up really well for this transfer window. I feel far more prepared after picking up that invaluable experience. What team he and Kevin Nolan would like to build After the season finished, myself and the manager, Kevin Nolan, spent quite a lot of time talking about the team we'd like to build and what success looks like for us. That's success not only in terms of league position, but also in terms of how we're going to play and which formations we're going to use. We both share a passion for attacking football, a strong defence, wide players who create lots of chances and big strikers in the area. We are absolutely on the same page in terms of what we'd like from a football perspective. And, unlike in January, we now have almost a blank canvas to work from when it comes to forming a squad. It's quite exciting to be able to say, 'okay, what does the future look like?'. The pitfalls of lower-league transfer window life I found it quite surreal in a way, that you can get to the end of a season and find you've got five players signed on for next year. With Michael O'Connor out injured we are down to four players under contract for next season, which includes a goalkeeper – so, in essence, we've got three. It was also quite daunting to think we've got the best part of 18 new contracts to negotiate, to agree and sign – quite a few of those will be for existing players, but you've still got to get everything agreed. While there is some uncertainty over which players are yet to come and go, we do have a robust, carefully thought-out budget in place. Kevin and our chief executive, Jason Turner, will be working very closely together this summer, the former identifying his targets and the latter negotiating deals with agents and clubs. In total I hope we'll be able to bring in around eight new players in a range of positions. Some we'll have to pay for, others will be out of contract and a few will come in on loan. Kevin Nolan's reputation What will be a huge help to us in the transfer market is Kevin's reputation. He's very, very well respected in the game and we're starting to receive calls from agents whose players are saying, 'I've heard such great things about Notts County and I want to play for Kevin Nolan'. There are two players in particular who have been offered deals with League One clubs, but they would prefer to come to us. They are at the beginning of their footballing journey and feel they would learn so much more from Kevin because of his experience and knowledge, which is really refreshing to hear. Having to let players down This is a hugely exciting time of year in the world of football but it's incredibly ruthless at times, particularly when it comes to making decisions that affect the business. You only have to ask Kevin how he felt after having to tell a number of players recently that their time at Meadow Lane was up. I share his compassion and find it tough talking about players as if they are just numbers, taking away the human side and doing your best not to be influenced by the fact they've got families to feed and mortgages to pay. Unfortunately, there's no room for sentiment in this industry. What I found particularly difficult was saying goodbye to the academy players who we didn't offer professional contracts to. Letting them go was probably more heartbreaking than the professionals because those boys haven't yet had their chance. It took me back to my early football days when I was released by Doncaster Rovers. It brought all those emotions back, from when I was 18 or 19 and thrown on the scrapheap. It's a ruthless sport and I really feel for those academy players. They have given their all for the last couple of years to try to make it in the game and hopefully they will find other clubs and come back stronger. To read Alan Hardy's Nottingham Post columns from this week, follow this link and this link. 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.
  20. Notts County have made their first signing of the 2016-17 post-season by recruiting Lincoln City winger Terry Hawkridge on a two-year deal. The Nottingham-born 27-year-old was part of the Imps side which cruised to National League glory this year, helping Danny Cowley's boys into League Two as well as the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Speaking to the official Notts website, Hawkridge - who played for Carlton Town and Hucknall Town early on in his career - said: “It was a tough decision to leave Lincoln. "However, I feel I have unfinished business here having been released as a kid. It’s my home city – I’m originally from Top Valley – so I am buzzing to be here. “I’m looking forward to getting started and learning a lot from the experienced players in the squad, as well as the manager. “I didn’t know what was happening after the National League season finished but now I have signed here I can go away, enjoy a short break and come back ready for the first day of pre-season training. “I’m a winger who can play on either side but I like to cut in from the left. I’ve got a bit of pace, I can cross with either foot and I have some tricks up my sleeve. I know I can bring goals and hopefully create some special memories here.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.

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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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