The transfer window always gets a lot of coverage for the big clubs, the world and their dog will know the latest big money moves in the Premiership, and with big clubs like Sunderland now in the lower leagues, there is attention there too.
However, it’s just as important for National League and non-league clubs. With football at this level hard to clamber out of, a bit of nouse in the transfer market is totally essential to success, and indeed, survival at this level.
Curzon Ashton have been very reliant of late on two types of players, and the same is true for a lot of teams at this level.
Type one is young players who are either on loan or released from other academies, we have a huge number at the moment from Oldham Athletic and some very young players on loan from Stoke.
Type two are players who have been playing at National League North and Northern Premier level for forever and a day.
Both of these have their advantages, young players tend to have plenty of pace, and those at the academies of bigger clubs will have had a huge amount of exceptional coaching, likely from their early teens. And those with plenty of experience in this level will understand how physical a game this can be at times, know the eccentricities of football at this level, Salford’s sloping pitch, huge crowds at FC United, and so on. Together it all sounds like a pretty good combination. However there is one sort of player Curzon doesn’t really have, and I’ll give you two words… Jon Parkin
I’m not suggesting Curzon sign Parkin, but that sort of player who has done the rounds in the less glamorous echelons of professional English Football (Parkin has played at the likes of Scunthorpe, Doncaster, Newport and so on) can be a huge asset. If you go and watch York City, you’ll notice Parkin looks like a member of the crowd’s dad has come on to play, however more importantly, touch, accuracy and vision is usually a step above most players at that level. They can also act as a leader for the younger players finding their feet in the game.
Players like this are hard to come by, you’re either retired or you’re not generally. But if you can grab one, they can be a huge asset to any team and if I was handling transfers and scouting at the Nash that is the sort of player I would be looking out for.