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In they come…


It’s taken long enough, and I still wish it didn’t exist, but the transfer window finally gets going for AFCW – welcome Peter Sweeney.

And a welcome it is, too. He’s a midfielder (plays on the left), he’s 6 ft, he was at Bury, he played for Millwall against Yernited in the FA Cup final and he’s from Glesga. So providing he’s not one of those sort of Glaswegians who supports Partick Thistle and secretly wished they were English, he’ll have the right character we’ve so desperately needed.

It seems from the official Bury Twatter feed that there are family issues, which are never good, and therefore needs to be in t’Smoke. Additionally, and from our point of view a good one, he cancelled his contract through mutual consent.

The reaction from Bury fans seems to be that they are gutted they’ve lost him, which is always a good sign. Remember when Luton fans weren’t so upset when Osano joined us?

It is but a start in the rebuilding process, but it’s a promising one none the less. At least we’ve got a bit of legit strength in midfield now, and that is another little bit of the jigsaw that has been added.

But the collective AFCW mood has definitely seen another uplift, even with the two wins. For NA’s first permanent signing it’s a good coup, and does show that we are capable of signing regularly starting players from other Football League sides.

And yes, I know that Bury are in massive shit and have a transfer embargo on them. But how many times have we lost out on players from those sort of distressed teams? Keep an eye out on Pompey and if they have any players (and I don’t mean Djilali…)

Obviously NA must have been able to persuade Sweeney enough to play for the team third from bottom of the whole Football League. In the last SW19 update, the point was made that our manager can say to a player that we’re moving in the right direction. While one would assume that we were tracking PS for a while (and Ardley said that we would have taken him on loan), I don’t doubt that our new midfielder could have easily gone to Barnet or Aldershot.

It does prove who is out there. Obviously, we need a couple more of that ilk and quality, but at least it seems like we’ve made an addition to the squad rather than the constant sense of scrambling around in blind panic transition we’ve had since AFCW joined the Football League.

We’ve rather overdone the loanees somewhat in recent times, if we’re being honest here. I’d rather have a permanent signing, especially somebody who legitimately seems to offer something new – obviously, as a L2 side we can’t exactly be choosers, and loans are a fact of life at this level (Cheltenham started yesterday against Everton with a loanee up front).

That said, the news that Meades and Ajala have signed up for longer is only good. That Meades could be with us until the end of the season is promising, although whether we’ll be able to keep Ajala post-February doesn’t seem clear.

We might also be starting to see the first signs of how NA does things. Or rather, the sort of players he wants and the sort of squad he is trying to build. There’s nothing flashy or ideological about what he’s doing – that’s a lot through necessity rather than choice, but we were able to drag ourselves out of the bottom two because we responded after Oxford with hard work and simplicity.

Sweeney is a ball player, apparently, although he’s no powder puff waif. And has made us forget dipping out on Gregs. No doubt the other types of player we need are being looked at and negotiated about, and perhaps PS won’t be the only debutant on Saturday…

There’s still plenty to do, of course, and we may be kissing goodbye to Jolley before long. If the Hounslow Chronicle is anything to go by, he’ll have a few suitors who are willing to give us some dough. Perhaps PS signing means that Jolley to wherever is about to happen? Waiting for a player to come in/leave before getting/selling one (delete as applicable) isn’t exactly a rare thing, and I suspect Chris Slavin will be a busy boy on the OS this week.

At least we have a new face now for Saturday. And perhaps he can also show us how to win games at home…