"As for Maidenhead, the conga (which was amusing) aside, quite a strange bunch really – some the oddest chants I've ever heard at a football match" ~ localboy86, Amber Planet forum, 26th April 2015

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Ah Pook Is Here

On paper, it is a decent signing. I doubt we would have been relegated needed a reprieve last season had Pook (and/or Richard Pacquette) stayed longer than merely the Christmas/New Year period. 

There is good reason why both were only here for a short period of time, however, as they were (understandably) looking to return to playing at the highest level possible. 

Commendable, IMO. 

That Pook has returned to York Road suggests to me either (a) he is no longer good enough for the Conference and/or (b) we made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. 

He’s had trials at some Conference sides but we managed to persuade him this is the place to be” 

How, exactly, did we ‘persuade’ him, I wonder... 

“He’s signed a year’s deal which gives us some security” 

Hmmm ... gives him some security, you mean? 

The contract signings, last summer, of Ashan Holgate and - if Drax were to be believed - Manny Williams also looked good on paper. So too, after a couple of games, did the commitment made to Chris Taylor. 

How did those three deals turn out, though? 

Forget the ‘lack of fitness’ BS, the collective failure (for varying reasons) of our three ‘big’ contract signings was perhaps the major reason, IMO, for our lamentable league position, come the end of the most recent campaign. 

As aforementioned, Pook looks a good signing. But what if, like Taylor, he gets injured? What if, like Will Hendry, he fails to replicate his loan form after re-joining the club on a permanent basis? 

IMO, the only players who should be given contracts at York Road are those promising youngsters for whom, it is hoped, we might one day expect a decent transfer fee (and possible sell-on clause). 

As such, the likes of Devante McKain, Harry Pritchard, Reece Tison-Lascaris and Alex Wall, I can well understand. 

In contrast, a year-long contract awarded to a 26 year-old (27 in October) who made the last of over 100 Football League appearances as recently as May 2011, is seemingly unwanted by Conference clubs, and (in all likelihood) lives a fair distance away?

A (presumably expensive) gamble. One that - if things don’t go according to plan - could see the Board requiring another ‘bit of a debrief’, come May 2013... 

Hey ho, glass half-full time; here’s hoping he does well, playing a significant part in helping the Magpies up the table and into play-off contention. 

Who knows, perhaps one day the club might even decide it a good idea to spend money on installing the required amount of seats, allowing us to actually compete in the play-offs, if we were ever to reach them...

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