And no, I’m not referring to what is apparently the entertainment in the Peel.
So, welcome back Chris Hussey. After Coventry cancelled his contract yesterday, it seemed almost fated that the man who was once dropped in favour of Mickey Haswell at Chelmsford in the RP days would be wearing a blue-with-yellow-trim shirt again.
Even if we don’t get the sell-on clause for him 😉
Our new left back (or is he left midfield?) should have come back a lot wiser, a bit more appreciative and ready and raring to kick-start his career again. When he left AFCW, we were in the Conference as a part time outfit, and now he has a chance to make himself a hero again.
I have to be honest, I’m never the greatest fan of players returning to the club. Sometimes it works (Sully, Marcus Gayle), but more often than not it doesn’t (Euell, Jermaine Darlington, Roger Joseph and to an extent even Pim).
In the case of Hussey, if he didn’t have AFCW connections he might have been an “hmm,Â that’s an OK signing”. As it stands, people are salivating over him running down the wing again.
Will he be the defender we remember from back in the day? Well, he’s only 23 so he’s got plenty of time still. He’s had the Championship and L1 experience, and he’s not likely to become the target for the proverbial boo-boys.
Do we need another left back? Actually, I think we do – we all know about Cummings, and one suspects Fenlon will either be sold or get burned out before the season ends anyway.
Blips like Oxford aside, we have looked more solid at the back in the last couple of months, and you would expect Hussey to strengthen that further. Neil Cox does seem to illustrate what happens when you have a full time defensive coach (and I’m sorry, but I think I will never let that go. At least for a good while), and you expect our (sort of) new signing to get better.
Is it a gamble? We are still too close to the relegation zone for comfort, so I suppose it is. And while I don’t think we’ll get anyone else in before Wycombe on Saturday, there’s still some issues up front and in midfield that must be dealt with before the end of the month.
Hussey’s return does seem to have a fair bit of the Simon Bassey influence about it, and the former cabbie does seem to prefer bringing back the ones previously linked with us. So from his point of view it’s a bit of a risk as well, especially if NA is thinking ahead to the summer already.
Perhaps not insignificantly, it’s also a permanent signing as opposed to a loan. Now, given that it’s the January window, it’s a lot better – if you can afford it – to sign your own players rather than get them temporarily in this month. Come February the loan window opens again anyway, and it’s more prudent to keep your powder dry.
At least we’re able to get players in (Bristol Rovers can’t, if this is anything to go by) and if we can capitalise on good current form we can make the run-in a lot, lot less fraught.
There’s still no news on players on the “out” list, and like any more signings in, it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything before Saturday now. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect Jolley and Fenlon gone by the time we start travelling to Accrington, because we got in a new midfielder and left back in this week.
The Irish Independent (not the most unreputable paper on t’other side of the Irish sea, especially if you’ve ever read the Sunday World) has said we’re looking at striker Mark Griffin of Dundalk. Now, whether this is a genuine attempt at a signing, or whether it’s just the usual agent touting around to help newspapers fill space, it does hint that our scouting net is expanding beyond the South East.
Admittedly, I don’t expect Griffin to sign, but places like the Airtricity League, the Irish League and both Wales and Scotland could well be decent hunting grounds for us. We’ll be a stepping stone, granted, but most clubs in League Two are. And if Griffin has even been hinted to us, he won’t be the only one…
So, the rebuilding job at AFCW continues, even if it’s not the radical demolition job it could have been in the first week of the month. There’s genuine optimism around at the moment, and it would be nice for once if we can go into Wycombe and do ourselves justice at home.
And if we can do that, who knows…?