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Elder Statesman

After the news that we’ve now signed Nathan Elder, the above is what our new shirt will look like tomorrow. At least it will tie in with the seat colours at KM…

Anyway, it looks like we have been busy in the transfer market haven’t we? We’d heard the odd smattering of rumours, like we were after Bas Savage (who as it transpires is out injured anyway). A rumour that sent many a panicked Google search to see how rubbish he was. And then along comes Nathan.

So, the SP on him. Well, he’s ex-Brentford for a start. Believe he was in the same side as Monty, and indeed made his Bees debut against……….. wait for it …………. Mansfield. Oh, the irony. I don’t know whether he was around when Glenn Poole was at Griffin though. He’s also 6 ft 1 or 6 ft 3, depending on whether you believe the Shrewsbury OS or Wiki.

A bit more worryingly, Shrewsbury fans don’t seem to be slashing their wrists at his departure. Not only that, but he was transfer listed when Shrews lost to Alan Boon’s classless bandwagon jumpers in the FAC. Unsurprisingly, TB is a bit more optimistic about him. From the OS:

“Nathan will add height, strength and aerial power to our side. He will bring us a strong physical presence in both boxes. We will be looking to start Nathan on Saturday and this will give us an opportunity to rest Danny Kedwell in preparation for the Tuesday night game against Altrincham. Nathan is not eligible to play against Altrincham because of the time we signed him, but he is, of course, eligible for the next round, should we succeed on Tuesday night.”

So in other words, he’s a big lump.

Suppose him replacing DK tomorrow may make a few bowels twitch, although if you remember last season and indeed times this campaign, we haven’t got a like-for-like subsitute for him. Until now, that is. In the worst case scenario, if DK does get sold to Franchise for £1.50, we’re not suddenly left with a massive void up front, like we were in 2008/09. And yes, I am including Kezie Ibe in that.

Guess we’ll wait and see what he does. Perhaps the most intriguing bit of info though is that like Danny Blanchett, he’s on loan until the end of the season. Indeed, these comments on the Shrewsbury OS make me wonder…:

Simmo revealed the new this afternoon and hopes that the move will give Nathan a boost: “It is a good opportunity for Nathan to go out and get some football under his belt.

“It hasn’t quite worked out for Nathan with us as yet so hopefully this will give him a little boost.

Bold bits mine.

Before I found this, I wondered if we were looking to properly go full time this summer. And by that, I mean signing the likes of Blanchett and Elder on more permanent deals when the summer comes. This might yet happen, but maybe this is instead a push for this season into the playoffs and beyond? So much for the mid-table mediocrity that we were all hoping for this season.

Chances are, going “properly” full time is still on the agenda – depending on necessity, of course. Right now, I’m not too sure what our status is on that score – we train a lot more but some people still aren’t full time, which makes it a bit of a half-way house. And not a little bit confusing.

If we somehow go up this season, we couldn’t remain even semi part time for long. Even if we don’t, it does seem like we’re becoming full time by stealth, which is no bad thing. The Conf has more than the odd story of sides who go full time then wish they hadn’t…

All this movement does make it more likely that players will be on their way out. You would assume Derek Duncan is one of the first on the list – he has a “virus” tomorrow, which will make peoples’ eyes roll for some reason. Strange, that.

The rumour mill is suggesting that Andy Little and Luke Garrard might be on their way too. Can’t verify the validity of such claims, but if true it will be an unsurprising if slightly sad ending for both of them. Both have been here since the DA days, and both do serve as a reminder of how far we’ve come (and how much better the whole club is now) in just a few short years. Even if Garrard has a, ahem, “lively” personality.

Speaking of Stig, I can’t help thinking of this article in the SLP. Especially these comments:

“I read the fans’ forum and I know I’ve got a lot of doubters out there,” added the former Swindon and Spurs defender.

“I never used to look at the message boards but when I was out injured I wanted to get an idea of what the fans were thinking so I started to log on.

“There are some lovely people at the club who wish me well on my Facebook page before games and who are good as gold with me, but some people have doubts about my ability.

Hope he never read this place then.

Actually, if he is on the out list, then it will be a shame. He was a pretty decent defender for us, although when he went to Boreham Wood “to get fit”, you do start wondering if there’s something more to it. A month here or there on loan, yes, but this felt a bit odd. Mind you, that’s how quickly we’ve moved up – these days, we sign players from Brentford rather than Bishops Stortford.

Finally, the Mansfield game is on. In many ways it feels like the new season is starting again. If so, let’s hope Handy on NYD was just a typical pre-season drudgefest…