Author Archives: tank031193

Rochdale fans feel hard done by following Dan Adshead’s move to Norwich City

It was announced yesterday that Rochdale academy graduate Dan Adshead completed a move to recently promoted Norwich City. Signing a long term contract to play with their Under 23 initially for an undisclosed fee.

He made a total of 16 appearances in his breakthrough season, scoring once in the EFL Trophy against Leicester Under 23s in the group stages. He also managed to make three appearances for England Under 18s and scored on his debut.

The rumoured fee of roughly 300k has been floated around the internet. This hasn’t gone down well with sections of the fan base who believe, he’s worth much more than that. Especially as Manchester United were rumoured to be in for him for £1 Million last season. No doubt the deal for him will contain add ons should certain clauses be met.

Adshead has long been recognised as a promising talent, with former manager Keith Hill even inviting him to train with the first team a couple of seasons ago when he was only 15.

Dan showed a maturity way beyond his years when breaking into the first team last season, and could go on to be the best academy export the club has produced for quite some time. He will be sorely missed but no one can begrudge him the move to a higher level.

Rochdale have to set the achievable goal following quiet preseason

Rochdale’s final UK pre-season fixture was confirmed on Friday with a trip to local neighbours Oldham pencilled in for Saturday 20th July. This adds to Blackburn, Huddersfield and Bradford at Spotland on the 14th, 17th and 27th of July respectively and away trips to Ramsbottom and Hyde on the 24th and 30th of July.

With the new kits released on Saturday ahead of the new season, this is a great time to predict what’s potentially ahead for the Spotland faithful this coming season.

Much is being made about the lack of business or contract news coming from the club so far this summer. Players are still under contract until the 30th of June, and it has become quite common for players to delay contract offers while they or their agents assess all their options and see if a better offer comes in.

It is safe to assume at least half of the players offered deals will sign, namely Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Kgosi Ntlhe, Ollie Rathbone, Brad Wade, Aaron Wilbraham and the Youth Team’s Lewis Bradley, Harrison Hopper, Florent Hoti and Fabio Tavares.

With Rochdale having a rather large squad last season I do not personally expect an abundance of signings this summer, rather more quality over quantity.

With the right additions, League One can be a lot more comfortable for Rochdale this coming season. A mid-table finish has to be an achievable goal. If they can avoid the many defensive errors and inconsistent performances from certain players that led to Dale struggling last season.

With Brian Barry-Murphy taking the squad to Portugal on July 4th for warm weather training, this will be his chance to assess how well fitness has been maintained over the close season and see where perhaps signings may be needed.

Rochdale’s Season Tickets Are Going Well, But What Do Dale Fans Expect Ahead Of the New Campaign?

The quiet summer at Spotland has continued thus far with very little news other than season ticket sales numbers, which have been steadily climbing. At last count on Friday 1750 had been sold.

But what can those fans who renew or even purchase a season ticket for the first time expect?

In what was another difficult season for the club again last season, safety was only clinched in the penultimate game and there were casualties along the way with; Firstly Joe Thomson, the hero of the previous season announcing his retirement. Then long term chairman Chris Dunphy announced his departure in December. January saw stalwarts such as Joe Rafferty and Andy Cannon sold in the transfer window. And finally, of course, the departure of long term manager and assistant, Kieth Hill and Chris Beech in March.

The fans can realistically expect a similar level of performance that the players were putting in towards the end of the season which saw results improve. But BBM isn’t stupid and knows his business this summer could make or break his fledgeling managerial career. He certainly is seemingly allowing himself time to properly assess in his first summer as a manager.

Rochdale fans have been spoiled of late, with news regarding the team traditionally flowing through May and June whilst Kieth Hill tried to shape his Rochdale team. The longer no news is announced is perhaps making the fans sweat on the contracts of those players who have been offered fresh terms, however.

Kieth’s replacement came from within, with his first-team coach Brian Barry-Murphy given the job albeit, temporarily initially before overseeing a run of form which saw Dale beat the drop and gave the board little choice but to make his contract as manager a more permanent one.

All the fans can do at this point is to stay calm and patient. While showing the same faith in the new management team that the board has shown.

Is Radcliffe Borough’s Top Goal Scorer On The Move to Chester?

Rumours emerged last night from Non-League transfer account ‘non-league tittle-tattle’ that Radcliffe Borough’s 25 goal striker Tunde Owolabi was on his way to Chester Fc.

Chester are currently co-managed by Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson, who gained fame from their successful spell at Salford which was documented on the BBC programme “Class of ’92: Out of Their League”

Joint Chester manager Bernard Morley noticed this tweet and replied tongue in cheek stating he had no idea about the potential signing and, jokingly suggested his Co-Manager Anthony Johnson might have done the deal behind his back.

‘Jonno’ who is seemingly still on his post-season holiday judging by the selfie he posted, simply said: “25 GOALS though, GET HIM IN…”. Current Radcliffe assistant manager Frank Sinclair even joined in the fun, correcting Johnson saying “26” Actually Jonno.”

Whether or not there is something to this rumour remains to be seen, however, Bernard Morley was actually at Radcliffe’s recent Play-Off final success against Leek Town. Something I wouldn’t read much into with Bernard being a Radcliffe local. This may allow him to perhaps have a better knowledge of the player, however.

Chester certainly needs firepower up front to fire them to the promotion they were so close to last season, so maybe another look at the 26 goal man isn’t the worst idea.

What do Chester fans think, would he be a good addition to the team, let us know in the comments below?

Is The Lack of Transfer News Concerning For Rochdale, or Is BBM Right To Wait?

Following Rochdale AFC’s survival, and a sixth consecutive season in League One secured for the first time in their history. Its been a quiet summer so far for the Dale fans.

With no contract or transfer news at all since their season ended, apart from Brian Barry-Murphy’s retained and released list, this could be perceived as good news or bad news depending on your outlook.

Firstly, the lack of news on contract signings is potentially bad news. As it has become the norm that players delay signing extensions, whilst they or their agents look around to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere. Or in most cases, they use other clubs interest as a bargaining chip to get an improved deal.

Secondly, no transfer news isn’t always a bad sign as Brian Barry-Murphy knows that this transfer window could make or break, not only his spell as Rochdale manager but, his management career in general. If he doesn’t get the recruitment right, it would tarnish all the good work Rochdale fans seen following his appointment. So waiting for the right signings rather than panic buying, just to appease the fans could be a rather bit of shrewd business.

BBM lost just three times, against three playoff placed teams in an extraordinary spell at the end of last season. In which he guided Dale to safety and 16th place finish, something that was a stark contrast to the other two-thirds of the season.

It’s clear BBM can get a tune out of the current regime, however, following a couple of departures. Barry-Murphy has surely been given the right already to earn the trust of the supporters and hope that he can continue where he left off.

Rochdale fans, who would you like to sign this transfer window lets us know in the comments below?

Two Players That Rochdale Fans Will Be Desperate to Sign a New Deal – Agree?

Following on from my previous articles it has been revealed that Brian Barry-Murphy has offered new terms to seven out of the nine players who out of contract this summer.

Namely Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Kgosi Ntlhe, Ollie Rathbone, Brad Wade & Aaron Wilbraham. Only Jordan Williams and Bradden Inman were informed that their services would no longer be required at Spotland next season.

With such a high number of potential renewals, it is likely that not all will accept. Out of the seven that Barry-Murphy wishes to retain, I would like to concentrate on two in particular…

Ollie Rathbone

I was quite surprised to learn that midfielder Ollie Rathbone’s contract was allowed to run down, as I would have been sitting him down to discuss terms long before this point. Many Rochdale fans will agree, it is vital he signs a new deal and doesn’t walk for free if they are to see some progression on the pitch. His endless energy and commitment to the cause is a vital cog in a fully fit Rochdale midfield.

Kgosi Ntlhe

The second player was considerably harder to pick as a couple of players seemingly played their way into new deals towards the end of the season, turning it on exactly when needed. The player I have chosen to focus on is Kgosi Ntlhe as he almost looked a different player upon return from his injury towards the back end of the season.

His impressive performances in the back four, chipping in with a couple of important goals, have almost certainly meant he will have at least another season at Spotland to kick on and showcase his talents on a more regular basis.

Aaron Wilbraham is also worth a mention as he was strongly considered for this article as similar to Ntlhe, he put in some big performances at the back end of the season and scored some crucial goals. His age is a factor though with him currently being 39, he surely can’t have many seasons left professionally. Depending on his wage demands it may ultimately be better looking elsewhere in the long run, but providing the finance package to retain him is reasonable, he maybe could be a good option.

Two Returning Loan Players Rochdale Had Who Will Go On To Greater Things

Now that the retained list has been published it has been confirmed that all loanees, namely Joe Bunney, Zach Clough, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ethan Hamilton, Rory Holden & Rekeil Pyke will be returning to their parent clubs.

All were thanked for their contributions but some will be missed more than others, as the performances they have shown at Spotland this season will surely mean they will go on to operate at a higher level in the future.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell

From the minute he signed, it was obvious that his capture, albeit temporary, was somewhat of a coup. He is a player that is easily capable of operating in a higher division.

At this stage in his career, it appears unlikely he would achieve a regular position in Wolves Premier League squad. So the natural progression for Ethan would be to be loaned out again to one of the promotion-chasing sides in League One, or would even be a suitable candidate for most sides in the Championship.

Ethan Hamilton

Hamilton was a bit of an unknown quantity coming to Spotland on loan from Man Utd in January., this was Hamilton’s first loan move away from Old Trafford. I did a little piece on Hamilton before his move in January, but with only youth team games to go off, it was hard to assess how he would be.

Hamilton proved to be a outstanding addition to the team though, scoring crucial goals and his general passion and commitment to the team shown him to be developed beyond his years. I fully expect him to be on loan at a bigger club or, even a higher level in the near future as he looks to continue his development.

As is usual for Rochdale and clubs of our size I fully expect Brian Barry-Murphy to dip into the loan market again this coming transfer window, in his bid to improve on what was a difficult season for Rochdale AFC.

Rochdale Announce Who’s Out The Door This Summer, As BBM Looks To The Future

Now that the dust has settled on another turbulent season for Rochdale in which they confirmed survival in the final weeks of the season, talk has turned to shape next seasons squad going forward under the management of Brian Barry-Murphy.

Currently, Defender, Kgosi Ntlhe, Midfielders, Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Ollie Rathbone, Goalkeeper, Brad Wade and Attackers, Aaron Wilbraham, Bradden Inman & Jordan Williams are out of contract this summer.

Loanees Joe Bunney, Zach Clough, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ethan Hamilton, Rory Holden & Rekeil Pyke will be returning to their parent clubs.

Brian Barry-Murphy will be keen to re-sign as many as possible of the out of contract players, to reinforce the form and consistency Rochdale showed towards the end of this season.

What appears to be most alarming to Dale supporters is the fact the club have let Ollie Rathbone’s contract dwindle. He is an important player for the club and, now holds all the cards in regard to the decision on his future. It is imperative he is offered a new deal as soon as possible to retain his services at Spotland.

Midfielder Matty Done is likely to be offered fresh terms as he is one of the elder statesmen of the team, and has a bit more to offer yet, wages dependent of course.

I believe that Keohane, Nlthe & Wilbraham late-season form will have done enough for them to be offered new contracts, as they showed enough about them to warrant BBM’s continuing faith in their abilities.

When it comes to Brad Wade & Aaron Morley I understand that they may have contract extension options. so hopefully these will be taken up. Wade is currently the only real option BBM has as back-up to first-choice keeper Josh Lillis, so he is more likely to be offered terms than Morley who didn’t feature often under the previous regime. Morley will want assurances from the new management team about his playing time, before considering any possible renewal if the club were to offer him one. I don’t think it would be a major surprise to many at Spotland to see him move on to seek more first-team action if, he didn’t get the assurances he wanted.

This leaves us with Bradden Inman and Jordan Williams who are out of a contract and are leaving the club. Bradden started the season well, scoring twice in a 2-1 win on an opening day away at Burton Albion, but since then has shown inconsistent form leading to him drifting in and out of the team and struggling to make any real impact when he has played.

Finally, Jordan Williams was one of few Rochdale players that a fee was paid for, rumoured to be around the 100k mark to Barrow a couple of seasons ago, so there would be a reluctance to let him go on a free, but despite an extended run in the team this season, he has looked like this level is maybe beyond him at this early stage in his career.

Radcliffe Passionate Fanbase Get Play-Off Win They Deserve

My first visit to the Neuven stadium as a neutral didn’t disappoint, with Radcliffe’s passionate fan base out in good voice in their Evo-Stick West Play-Off Final against Leek Town yesterday.

It was Boro’s first chance at promotion in 16 years, not since the 02/03 season have they been in contention for promotion to a higher level.

The game started at a fairly low tempo, with Radcliffe having most of the ball and creating all the chances. But it was Leek Town who made the breakthrough with an excellent ball into the box by former Liverpool academy man Dan Trickett-Smith, who found Rob Stevenson unmarked in the box and duly poked the ball home past Radcliffe keeper Ollie Martin to give Leek a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.

This was the high spot of a fairly tame first half. Radcliffe made one change in the break, Matty Crothers coming on for Lee Neville. The team clearly responded positively to Boro manager Jon Mackens half time pep talk, as they stepped up their gear and played with a greater sense of urgency than in the first half.

As Leek struggled to match their opponents, Radcliffe started to find joy down the left-hand side of the pitch. Getting almost instant second-half success when top scorer Tunde Owolabi tapped into the back of the Leek net from a couple of yards out, after a well-squared pass from the recently introduced Matty Crothers in the 46th minute.

The vocal support from the Radcliffe faithful grew as they could sense a real chance of promotion unfolding on the pitch in front of them. Boro continued to turn the screw and apply pressure with an Owolabi effort firing just wide, and a goalmouth scramble in the Leek town box seeing many efforts blocked.

The pressure ultimately told. In the 62nd minute, Kyle Harrison did well to jink his way into the box from the left wing once again, where Leek left-back Lewis Short lunged in and brought Harrison down. Ben Wharton stepped up and fired home the resulting penalty to complete the second half turnaround.

Leek Town was to have a late penalty shout of their own turned down in the 75th minute when Rob Stevenson went down to a sliding Boro challenge in the box. The referee immediately waved it away to the relief of the home supporters, who were becoming more jubilant as the final whistle approached.

Five tense minutes of added time ticked away and as the full-time whistle was blown. Joyful scenes ensued. Large sections of the fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate with their heroes in what was not only a huge win for the club but, a huge win for the town of Radcliffe. Such passion for teams representing their community is often lost at higher levels of the game.

Radcliffe were very gracious hosts and look to be operating in the right way and hopefully, have more success coming their way in the future. Today’s promotion was for their loyal fan base and for their former club photographer Pete Lee, who sadly passed away in a road traffic accident earlier this season.

Today’s performance and result would have made him very proud.

Photo Cred: Radcliffe Boro/ Robert Duckworth 

What’s gone wrong for Rochdale’s Zack Clough?

Zach Clough’s signing on loan from Nottingham Forrest on the 31st of August was seen as some what of a coup for Rochdale at the time. With his signing seen as a massive statement of intent from Dale to kick on after their tense relegation battle last season.

He started off well even scoring on his debut against Bury in a Checkatrade Trophy group game, a game which his obvious talent was there for all to see. However, for whatever reason he just never really kicked on and got a solid run in the team.

Clough seemingly was almost constantly on the treatment table, with small niggling injuries that cost him large parts of the first half of the campaign. Rochdale fans we’re not getting what they thought out of the 2.25m rated man and began to grow frustrated at his lack of playing time. 

There was rumours of a falling out between Keith Hill and Clough over a poor attitude towards training, albeit there were many rumours of such with Keith before his sacking in March. This rumour was surely put to bed by the fact Hill resigned Clough on loan for the rest of the season on deadline day in January, after he had returned back to Forest seemingly under the radar.

Unfortunately, once again he never managed to see the pitch long enough to gain any momentum with injuries seeing him restricted to fleeting appearances on the bench.

The former Bolton Wanderers player managed only 540 minutes of football in the two short loan spells at the club this season. Scoring one and assisting one in the Checkatrade trophy – after oozing class in his first days at Nottingham Forest the future for Clough doesn’t look bright.

He will go down as one of frustrating signings in recent Rochdale history due to his obvious talents never fully utilised.

 

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