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Club News

Marcus on the Squad

31 July 2018

Club News

Marcus on the Squad

31 July 2018

Marcus Braddock takes a look at the new members of John Askey's squad

We've only had the one friendly at home this season so some people won't have had an opportunity to see all of the new players, fortunately I went to most of our friendlies so I can give few clues on what to expect. I've put the players squad numbers in brackets after their name

We signed two keepers this closed season, Steve Arnold (15) on a free and Joel Coleman (1) on loan from Huddersfield Town. Coleman is a bright young keeper with experience of League One and the Championship whilst 28 year old Arnold also has League one experience from time spent with Stevenage. They're both very capable keepers but Coleman's appearance against Port Vale was probably the most impressive from either keeper with some rather acrobatic moves so I suspect he may start on Saturday.

Coming in as a left sided defender is Ryan Haynes (3) from Coventry City. At 22 he's another of our younger recruits and he's rather tenacious going forward, always looking to build . Formations are likely to be the key for Haynes. If we play with four at the back, I wonder if Omar Beckles may get the nod but if we look to use wing-backs then Haynes may be ideal. Defensively he's been difficult to assess as he's not been really tested often in the games I've seen but if his attitude is anything to go on then he may be rather effective.

Kieran Kennedy (4) is a central defender who has come in from Macclesfield where he helped John Askey and his team win promotion to League Two. He's played for Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League as well as Macc and he looks a capable defender and it's been suggested he could play a little further forward but he will have to work hard to force himself into our established defensive unit.

Twenty three year old Josh Laurent (28) came in a couple of weeks ago for an undisclosed fee from Wigan. He spent much of last season on loan to Bury so he should know League One pretty well, even  after a difficult season! He can certainly pass the ball well and linked up with the players around him well. He occupied a reserved central midfield position but wasn't afraid to get forward in support or get back to help out defensively.  He's also a big lad at 6 ft 2 in so an imposing presence in midfield.

Another player drafted in in closed season was Doug Loft (19), the ex-Port Vale midfielder. At 31 he offers an experienced head amongst younger team-mates and a bit of bite to the midfield. I'd describe him as a box to box midfielder who is more than capable of getting you a goal or two.

A couple of John Askey's earlier additions were strikers Aaron Amadi-Holloway (20) and Fejiri Okenabirhie(12). Holloway spent last season at Oldham and has also spent time with Wycombe Wanderers and Fleetwood Town. He's a very hard working forward who's particularly good at occupying defenders and making space for team-mates. He can also score and managed three goals in pre-season. I'm really looking forward to seeing him and fellow forward signing Fejiri Okenabirhie in League One action. Okenabirhie is a very promising striker that John Askey brought in from Dagenham where he's been turning in some incredible performances. He's a real handful who's positional sense is good enough to put him in the right place, just at the correct time. He also likes to run at defenders with the ball, making them more than a little uncomfortable! Like Amadi-Holloway he's got three goals in closed season and at just 22, he looks a real prospect.

Supporting Amadi-Holloway and Okenabirhie will be 22 year old winger Alex Gilliead (18) who signed from Newcastle United. Gilliead is a quick thinking, quick moving winger who has plenty of first team experience despite not having played for the Magpies. Last season he played the full season for Bradford on loan and previous to that he also had a shorter spell with the Bantams. He also made 18 appearances  for Luton on loan  in 2016/7 and also played for Carlisle in 2015/6. He looks like another exciting winger who's quick and crosses the ball well and increases our options in wide areas.

Charlie Colkett (23) is a cultured looking midfielder who has joined from Chelsea on loan having spent last season with Vitesse Arnhem. At 23 he's got his career ahead of him and that could be a good one judging by the way he passes the ball. He played a big part in the Telford friendly, I don't think I saw him give the ball away once, every pass seemed to reach it's intended target. Each target looked to be the best of his options so his decision making is also excellent. Given a little time, I wonder if Colkett may end up being our most valuable signing because he looks to have the ability and intelligence to control a game and pick his pass. That said, there is a fair amount of competition for places centrally and again, he may need the right formation to take advantage of his strengths.


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