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Club News

Paul's Weekly Update

21 May 2014

Throughout the close season we will be keeping up-to-date with Town boss Paul Hurst. This is is update for this week. 

James McKeown 

He's been a major player for us. Along with Craig Disley he has been there pretty much as long as I've been at the football club. Knowing him extremely well, knowing what he can bring,  not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well. I think it was a big decision for him this time around.  Nothing to do with being at the football club or anything like that, but he's obviously got ambitions to play higher. Hand on heart, I perhaps thought that we might lose him this summer. 

But I am pleased that he has signed. The fact that we know each other well and that we've got a good working relationship, that has helped somewhat. He loves the football club and hopefully he can have another good season. I think he's respected the time that I have given him to think about the offer. I think the fans will be delighted that he has signed his contract.

Scott Neilson 

We are delighted that Scott has signed for us. Scott's one of those that gets fans on the edge of their seat. When he picks up the ball fans are expecting things to happen from him. He's certainly a player that a lot of defenders wont enjoy coming up against. He's a bit of a live-wire. He's been a big part of how well we've done over the last couple of seasons. I still think that there is a bit more to come from Scott.

Maybe in terms of constancy, that's something I've said to him. I've said to him how many times can we get it out of him, over a full year. If he does that on a regular basis then he's going to be a real handful for the opposition. I am sure he is now going to give our fans some exciting performances.

Cambridge United's promotion 

I guess they deserved it because they won on the day. 

There is an old fashioned view that if you finish second you deserve to go up.  I heard Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander saying the other day that, ultimately,  we all know what the format is when we start the season. Cambridge have had a fantastic season by winning the Trophy and getting promoted.  They've seen the job through and I would like to congratulate them. Of course it now means that we will be playing Gateshead who got the better of us in the play-offs. 

With two big club being promoted - might that help our promotion aspirations next season?

I think from that point of view you look at it and you would certainly say so.  I'm sure somewhere down the line we will be doing a piece on the contenders for next season.  We would have probably have expected the losing finalists to be a contender for next season.

I am sure the nucleus of that team (Gateshead) will stay together and they will try to get on a roll again.

The YTs Who have signed pro deals 

All three have impressed me at various stages.

I have watched the Youth team games when I have been able to and I have also had them training with me at various stages. All three have a little taste, all be it only small, of first team football. 

Paul Walker and Caine in actual league games, as well as in the Trophy with Ellis Humble.  

It is something that we spoke about as a club. While it is sometimes thought that it is the Conference League and players should be ready, sometimes physically they are now quite there.  It is sometimes a tough call to let some players go when, given another year, or maybe slightly longer in some cases, they may then come through to be a first team player. That's what as a club, with Stuart's hard work, something that we are trying to develop. It's good that we've got the three lads onboard an hopefully they can progress. 

Paul Walker I would say, physically, he is pretty much a man and is ready to make that step up in physical terms. Caine's a different build, but he's got a determination about him and he has shown that he is quite comfortable on the ball.  He can possibly play left-back or left wing - that's something that I will be looking at, working at with him when he reports back. Ellis Humble - I think he's got a lot of potential. I think he reads the game extremely well, and I think he looks like he's got a little bit more time than he has at times. I mean that in the sense that he reads the game well. We've got a player there that we now need to develop further.  

It's nice when you can develop local players through.  Ultimately we want to see them in the first team. Hopefully they will come in with the opportunity to impress. Hopefully they will grab hold of that. If they are the ones that are trying their best and impressing me, they will get their opportunity.   

The search for new players 

More conversations, chats.  I have quite an extensive list and I will work through that.  I have said many times before, when something suits and fits we will try and make a move on that. There is certainly no panic and no rush.

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