Player profiles: Ricky Ravenhill

Cod Almighty | Article

by Paul Thundercliffe

5 September 2006

Having been on standby to write a profile of a new midfielder coming through the transfer window, I was poised to wax lyrical over a returning son. I even had a neat first paragraph linking his return with the sudden upturn of trade at 'Legends' at Cleethorpes – "Pouton could even drink his Friday nights away in a watering hole named after him..."

But a disagreement over a severance payment (for "disagreement" read "refused to pay one, even though we flogged him thinking he would never play football again") means that our new midfield dynamo is none other than Ricky Ravenhill. Plenty of fun to be had with prefixing 'r's, I suppose.

Well, Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrricky's only 25 and was born in Doncaster, which at least makes him more local than most. Originally a trainee and reserve team regular with Barnsley, Ravenhill joined his home-town club in 2002, making his first team debut away at Yeovil in the FA Trophy. His record at these clubs over five seasons is nothing short of prolific. Over 120-ish appearances (including subs) he managed a staggering 37. Yellow cards, that is. Plus three reds. Last season he was booked 11 times, so Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrravenhill might not add much to our fair play hopes.

But if these cautions were for meaty yet mistimed tackles rather than dissent then maybe he is just what we are looking for? A hard bastard. When did we last have someone prepared to show studs for the cause? A ballwinner to break up the attacks that are seemingly incessant at present?

Or is he too tempermental, a liability? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrricky had a recent loan spell at Chester ended because of a lack of funds at the Deva, according to sources in Doncaster. Sources in Chester (thanks, Mike Worden!) seem to back this up:

"The official line is that Chester had broken the 60 per cent limit (of wages to turnover) set by the Football League for fourth division clubs and so had to send Rrrrrrrravenhill back. With Chester there is always lots going on under the surface, however, and you never know. Anything is possible with the Mark Wright/Steven Vaughan combination and players have come in and left quickly for no apparent reason. Some Chester fans have blamed Dave Penney's sudden departure from Doncaster for the breakdown of the Rrrrrravenhill deal, as Penney and Wright get on. Some are baffled as to why it seemed that Doncaster wanted a fee from Chester for Rrrrrrrravenhill but that he went to Grimsby seemingly for free.

"There are certain players Wright hasn't liked but all the indications are that he rated Rrrrrrrrravenhill, as did the Chester fans. They saw him as the hardman in midfield, and getting sent off in last week's derby withWrexham endeared him to the Chester faithful."

So there we are. His ban will run out soon and we will see if he endears himself to Town fans the way Pouton endeared himself to us all that time ago. However, tough tackling and bookings may not be enough if he can't do five stepovers, overhead kicks in his own box and score from the halfway line.