(Possible) New Boy – Kieron Freeman
We’ve jumped the gun on this one slightly as Freeman hasn’t even signed at the time of writing. However, if he doesn’t, I didn’t want to see the following article end up on the cutting floor after asking a mate to write it for us! So, here’s all you need to know about Rams target/new signing Kieron Freeman, courtesy of Notts County author Luke Williamson.
When a player seems to flirt with a move to your club, it is hard to not end up rather bitter when he pops a few miles down the road to hook up with someone else. However, given the circumstances, I must say that I am delighted that Kieron Freeman has ended up at someone other than that lot over the river from my beloved Notts County.
It became abundantly clear sometime ago that for whatever reason, Freeman was not destined to press on with his career at the City Ground and a subsequent loan spell with ourselves gave us every reason to be hopeful that this
Nottingham lad could stay with us beyond his short term deal at Meadow Lane.
With bags of energy, a telling cross and an ambition to get involved in attacks, Freeman appears to have to potential to be just the type of right back that clubs in the modern era want, bombing up and down the flank and providing pace and cover at the back. Despite a shambles of a debut in a month where he had already represented his parent club and Mansfield Town on emergency loan back in January, Freeman settled into the black and white shirt rather quickly during early 2012 and despite the fact we already possessed a more-than-adequate right back for League One in Julian Kelly, we were quickly pining for Freeman to stop popping off on Wales Under 21 duty and sign a more permanent deal with our club.
Since the season ended there has been daily speculation on the future of Freeman with every other Notts fan apparently bumping into his old man. The initial reports, which all give an impression that Freeman Senior is the most sociable chap in the city of Nottingham, confirmed that Kieron was aiming higher than League One and had ambitions of the Championship and above for the forthcoming season with Notts an unlikely suitor.
However, as the summer progressed, it became more-and-more likely that that lot over the river were not going to make any genuine attempts to keep a player that had made just one competitive start for the club back in January in an FA Cup tie.
As Kuwaiti’s were being shipped in on trial with that lots new iconic managerial appointment, Freeman began hinting through the medium of twitter that he knew he wasn’t wanted by the not-so-tricky trees and suddenly he gave indications of Meadow Lane being a viable option as Notts fans told him how welcome he would be.
Keith Curle, as recently as the start of August, came out and said he had three more transfer targets, one of whom was young Freeman, and a signal of intent seemed apparent as for the first time someone official at the club was touting a move for the right back as a genuine possibility.
I can’t say I am overly surprised that we have missed out now all is said and done however. In Derby County, Freeman has a club that can undoubtedly offer him more money than what would have ever been on the table at Meadow Lane. Meanwhile, he must feel like he is set to get a real opportunity of first team football at a level that he feels he is more than capable of performing at.
Looking back at Freeman’s 19 appearances at our club, I think it is fair to say that we were punching above our weight somewhat if we harboured genuine hopes of securing his signature. The lad has raw talent and for my money was the best defender being paid a wage by that lot over the river during the backend of the 2011-12 season. If they couldn’t (and still can’t) see it, more fool them. It’ll make it all the more enjoyable to watch him become a success at a rival to the club that aided his development.
Now what positives can Derby fans give us about Dean Leacock?
Luke Williamson (@LukeWilliamson) www.luketwilliamson.co.uk
Luke Williamson is the author of I Had a Wheelbarrow – A Fan’s Story of a Notts County Adventure