Only the loan-ees

Contrast this season to when Nigel Clough first arrived and the loan stats have swung massively. Not only were we reluctant to bring anyone in this year but we also used the system to get players out. Did you realise that the Rams loaned 12 players out (unless I’ve missed someone) across the season? Who’d have thought our squad could afford such a luxury?

For the senior players, this was generally for one of two reasons – 1) to get some games and prove something or 2) because they were “not part of the plans”. Unfortunately, several players moved from the former to the latter category as success varied from “didn’t work out” to “outright disaster”. Here we look at our very own dirty dozen…

Lee Croft – Croft was never ever going to play for the Rams again, so the fact that someone (Oldham) took him achieved the objective. Crofty enjoyed a good cup run and we formally released him in January so he could join Oldham full-time.

Callum Ball – This didn’t exactly work out as we’d hoped. Ball showed a lot of promise in 2011/12 and was expected to smash up League One. Unfortunately, a few things conspired against him. Firstly, he was injured for a chunk of the season. Secondly, Cov used the loan market heavily and with only 5 loans permitted in the matchday squad, Ball often missed out as David McGoldrick filled his boots. Finally, Coventry had at least 3 managers last season, giving Ball no stability and limited chance to play for the man who signed him. Having said that, he still made 20+ appearances. Needs to get going in our u21s next season.

"...so by the time i'd convinced security i was one of the players, I was 2 hours late and Cloughy sent me home anyway..."

“…so by the time i’d convinced security i was one of the players, I was 2 hours late and Cloughy sent me home anyway…”

James Bailey – Plan A was to sell Bails. That didn’t happen so Plan B was to get him some games with a view to selling him. That half worked. Bails played 30 games for Coventry and apparently did well. However, simply having to go into League 1 has devalued his stock. I’m sure he won’t struggle to find a club but how much we’ll get for him will be a fraction of his value two years ago.

Nathan Tyson – When Tyson joined Millwall, it was hoped that he’d score a few and either earn himself a transfer (allegedly £250K had been agreed) or storm back into the reckoning at Pride Park. Unfortunately, an early injury stopped him in his tracks and he was usurped by subsequently loanee strikers such as Jermaine Easter and Rob Hulse. He managed only 4 appearances for the Lions and is now firmly on the ‘available’ list with fallen stock.

Theo Robinson – ‘As above’ in many ways, without the injury but inserting the names of James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford, who both seemed to get a second wind after Theo’s arrival. Last summer, Theo was being linked with Fulham and Wigan for £1.5m. This won’t be the case in 2013.

Valentin Gjokaj  – Clough saw Val’s spell at Carlisle as being the next step in his development – which it would have been if only they’d have played him. Managing only one sub appearance in the FA Cup, Clough recalled him to cover injuries.

Tom Naylor – Naylor was expected to be firmly in the first team squad this season but after an indifferent pre-season and shocker against Scunthorpe, Clough decided he needed to be playing some games. Unfortunately, he didn’t do much of that at Bradford, starting only 4 league games in his 3 month spell. He was immediately made available again but had to drop into the Conference to Grimsby Town. Stock fallen, now available (is a pattern developing here?)

Ross Atkins – After a full season at Burton Albion, Gary Rowett decided to take Atkins back again for 2012/13. He started the season for the Brewers but was replaced after 4 games, never to play again. Rumoured to be stepping down a league to join Alfreton next season on loan.

Kane Richards and Stefan Galinski – The successful youth team of the previous year contained only three second years. Goalkeeper Mats Morch along with Richards and Galinski. The latter two featured for the U21 team before being loaned to Matlock and Corby Town respectively. Both were released around Christmas. Richards was last seen at Ilkeston Town whilst Galinski bizarrely signed for Stoke City before being loaned out to Corby again.

Sam Berry and Rhys Sharpe – The two youngsters joined Mickleover Sports towards the end of the season. Clough has previously been reluctant to loan players out this low in the pyramid (as previous Sports manager Dick Pratley moaned when they were in the division above) but seems to have warmed to the idea. A lot of players in this league only get the proverbial ‘twenty quid in the boot’  but playing football with sometime horrible grown men is probably a good idea at this stage.

Does this mean we shouldn’t loan players out? Absolutely not! If someone is going to ‘out’ themselves as rubbish, then better not to do it in a Rams shirt! With our increasing number of young players, this could be valuable for us in the future. The theory is good, let’s just hope it works out better next season.

S Spaceram

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Posted on May 21, 2013, in 30 Days of Ramspace, General Rams Comment and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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