The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward

18 July 2018

Akin Famewo looks good on the ball. Ahkeem Rose moves like Michael Boulding. And that'll do for now. We'll leave the overanalysis of last night's friendly against Sunderland to the usual outlets, shall we? There are trialists to discuss, rumours to process, and forthcoming matches to anticipate!

The next of these is tonight's Lincolnshire Cup quarter-final back at Cleethorpes Town. As one who doesn't really buy into the idea of the local rivalry, your original/regular Diary is intrigued as to the proximity of status that might be necessary before Mariners fans need to start doling out the same sort of playground insults to the Owls as to other nearby clubs.

So I wonder whether some kind of action plan ought to be issued, escalating the level of pre-pubescent wordplay according to Cleethorpes' position in the pyramid system. Should the Linden Club ever host, say, Conference North football, Grimsby fans attending Lincs Cup fixtures against them could roll out a chant of "always shit on the east side of Park Street". In the horrifying eventuality that the two clubs meet in the same division, furthermore, we would presumably need to start calling them "Weethorpes".

Any old how, Town will presumably be sending a youth team or second XI this evening, as Michael Jolley has revealed that this Friday's cancelled friendly at Rotherham will go ahead after all behind closed doors. The fixture was reported to have been called off because South Yorkshire Police were short-staffed, but the Mariners' messianic maestro mentioned in a Radio Humberside interview last night that the game will still be played, but with only the coaching staff watching. There is no truth in any rumour that local police agreed to this only after first ensuring that there is no longer any role in the GTFC set-up for Rob Scott.

I can't quite remember whether Jolley played a watchful innings in last week's charity cricket match, but in the same interview he certainly showed a straight bat to Matt Dean's insistent questioning about the expected length of Elliott Whitehouse's absence and any potential new additions to his squad. What we do know, though, is that two young midfielders rocked up on trial last night: Reece Flanagan and Alex O'Hanlon. Flanagan is a product of the Walsall academy (presumably under Neil Woods' tutelage) while Ireland under-21 international O'Hanlon turned down a contract to stay in the system at Liverpool in favour of first-team football elsewhere. Seems like the right sort of mindset, eh? James Findlater at the Telewag has more.

Since there are no more facts to report, then, and I still have some space to fill, let's end by indulging the rumour that Martin Paterson has joined the list of Town's potential new forwards. Now 31, the Northern Ireland international has recently been playing in India and the USA after a desultory mid-career with Huddersfield Town and Blackpool. I don't know how much credibility is in this one, still less he'd would turn out to be a decent signing. But I've got fond memories of that day Alan Buckley, newly returned for a third spell as manager, loaned Paterson and Anthony Pulis from Stoke and we handed Accrington their arse. As false dawns go it was quite a nice one.