Lower League Gems

immariner

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I was reading a discussion about who GTFC should spend the money on that we have raised through the Operation Promotion scheme and it got me thinking that I'd like to see us take a punt on one or two players from lower down the leagues who are standouts in their divisions. However, my knowledge below the Conference is sketchy at best. Now the obvious thing to do, as we are looking to sign two or three strikers, is to look at the top scorers charts in the Conf North & South and Evostik etc. But this would of course be a bit lazy and not tell me everything I need to know about a striker. At the top of Conf North scoring charts were Dayle Southwell and Andy Cook, deemed not good enough by Hurst over the last couple of seasons, so any new striker would probably have to have the potential of being better than either of those two.

I see that Halifax and Alty have taken players from lower down and was wondering if anyone could name players they think would make a success in the Conference. Is there another Jamie Vardy or Chris Smalling out there waiting to be snapped up?
 

Pliny Harris

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#3
It's really not about looking at the top scorers just below you all the time. One of the top scorers in the Conference North last season was the great James Dean, who was a legend for us but what his appearance in the scoring tables doesn't say is that his top goal tally for us was dependent on a good cross or pass midway into the area, which is much harder to rely on in the Conference. The most impressive goal tally I saw in the northern regional leagues last season was Liam Hardy(?) for Buxton who probably deserves another crack at this level, but is in his late 20s having struggled with injuries when he was more likely to make the step up. Then there's Omar Bogle of course, but whenever he actually does leave Solihull it'll be for a league side I'm sure. No idea how they're keeping him on (moneybags).

Your manager and assistant manager should be going to games every day they're free to watch one, so they'll eventually sniff out some talent that's not necessarily represented by goals scored, or prior hype. They should be well known around local non-league sides for the amount of scouting they do there. And they might want to commit to honing the players they sign rather than expecting the completed product to come straight from a small ground that doubles up as a cricket pitch.
 

Silver Stone

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Well in addition to Chris Smalling, we produced Ben Swift, who signed for Aston Villa in the springtime.

Alex Flisher and Tom Mills are two good young players of ours who could easily play at a higher level.
 

Southern Shayman

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#5
The problem is now that if you weren't already looking at those kind of levels - you've probably missed the boat.

We've been one of the more successful sides about it and the majority of our signings come from below. But league clubs have now seen the potential and are all over it. For example, Sheff Utd gazumping us on Che Adams.

The other problem is the risk, when you're maxing your wage budget trying to get promoted it's a hell of a risk plucking someone and hoping it all clicks right - us and Alty have got much more incentive as we can't pick the cream from this division so have to take risks. There's also the fact they'd get that game time and time to develop here, whereas you probably don't have that luxury next season.

Finally, there's the impact on expectations, we're already getting to the stage where some fans are shouting "we need bloody proven players, marquee signings, what about Peter Clarke from Blackpool?". I imagine with the expectations at Grimsby, if you signed a couple of lower league players there'd be uproar amongst the less informed.

It can be done, but it's such a small chance of finding that world beater, it's probably why Hurst just hasn't taken the risk.
 

immariner

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Good points SS. We've tried it before with players like Anthony Church (who previously played under Hurst at Boston) and that didn't work. But then Shaun Pearson well and truly did. This year is a bit different as £100,000+ extra from the fundraising and increased season ticket sales gives us that little bit more room for manoeuvre. We didn't sign Jamie Vardy because at the time we were unwilling/unable to meet your valuation. Hopefully if there is another like him out there we'd be more willing/able to go for it.
 

immariner

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Well in addition to Chris Smalling, we produced Ben Swift, who signed for Aston Villa in the springtime.

Alex Flisher and Tom Mills are two good young players of ours who could easily play at a higher level.
How much do you want for them? :£ haha
 

Frealaf

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#8
It can be done, but it's such a small chance of finding that world beater, it's probably why Hurst just hasn't taken the risk.
This, everyone points to the Vardy's or the Grays etc. but how easy is it to find them and how many clubs have the luxury to risk them making the step up?

Its the same with YT's that we sign for a year and then release, no reserves teams means no chance for them to get game time and no luxury to risk them in first team games.

Its easy to say we should sign these players, but its not our job or money on the line if they aren't one of these rare gems.
 

Greenacres

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#9
John Mills at Didcot Town, who we faced in the FA Trophy, by my reckoning he scored over 50 goals last season. Now I haven't a clue whether he could make the step up to Conference National, but it would have to be a pretty low risk bet in signing him and trying to find out.
 

joethegill

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#10
Well in addition to Chris Smalling, we produced Ben Swift, who signed for Aston Villa in the springtime.

Alex Flisher and Tom Mills are two good young players of ours who could easily play at a higher level.
Whenever I've watched Maidstone (not loads but a few) the standout player in my eyes has been Lee Worgan in goal. Flisher looks ok but think he's round about his right level now in Conference South - maybe one step higher but can't see a Football League move if I'm honest. Can't say I've noticed Tom Mills too much.
 

Silver Stone

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#11
Aye Worgan is a terrific keeper, north of his 30s now I believe though - was trying to keep it about young uns.

Regarding Flisher, he was always a good player, but before his injury last season he was downright unplayable quite frequently. We tend to play him on the wing but he's better in a more advanced role, just behind the forwards.
 

B2TF

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#12
I was reading a discussion about who GTFC should spend the money on that we have raised through the Operation Promotion scheme and it got me thinking that I'd like to see us take a punt on one or two players from lower down the leagues who are standouts in their divisions. However, my knowledge below the Conference is sketchy at best. Now the obvious thing to do, as we are looking to sign two or three strikers, is to look at the top scorers charts in the Conf North & South and Evostik etc. But this would of course be a bit lazy and not tell me everything I need to know about a striker. At the top of Conf North scoring charts were Dayle Southwell and Andy Cook, deemed not good enough by Hurst over the last couple of seasons, so any new striker would probably have to have the potential of being better than either of those two.

I see that Halifax and Alty have taken players from lower down and was wondering if anyone could name players they think would make a success in the Conference. Is there another Jamie Vardy or Chris Smalling out there waiting to be snapped up?
Ha ha, like were going to tell you. :10:
 

les.gtfc

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#13
It's a real shame that Liam Hearn got injured whilst he was with us.

Unproven at this level when we signed him, he scored 29 in his first season here. If he'd stayed fit I'm fairly sure that he'd be played far higher up in the league pyramid now rather than finding himself in the "last chance saloon" at Lincoln.
 

DarkSithLord

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#17
We seemed to have taken this approach by signing Sam Jones from local Midland League Neighbours Heanor Town.

Was their top scorer in the NCEL with 17 goals and 10 assists. Seems a risk with such a huge gap but perhaps one thats worth taking.
 

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