Ten players who St Albans City may look at signing this summer
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Football fans love to talk transfers, we spend hours discussing who our club should sign and this is especially true in the summer. I’ve had a look at 10 players who I think will be ideal signings for St Albans City.
After coming close to qualifying for the National League South play-offs in both of the last two seasons, it feels like this summer needs to be pivotal for St Albans City. If they want to finally break into the top seven then their business during the next few months will be crucial.
But who will they go for? Ian Allinson has said more quality is needed and pointed to the wide areas and up front as ones he wants to improve.
My job takes me to a number of clubs and leagues and while not claiming to be a complete expert in southern football, I’ve seen one or two players I think are certainly ones to look at.
Before I start though a small point, I have left money out of the equation. At a club like St Albans it is a factor so while I’ve gone for players who I believe are City’s target market, I may be wide of the mark when monetary demands come into it.
1.Dave Keenleyside (Welwyn Garden City)
When you talk about players with quality then DK springs instantly to mind.
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He spent a number of years playing in the SSML with Harpenden Town while he got his teaching career on track but last year decided to give the higher levels a go once again.
And he showed, first at Hertford and for the most part at WGC, that he still has it.
The ability to unlock a defence with an outrageous pass is what Allinson is after.
Keenleyside knows the club, the area and may still have unfinished business at Clarence Park.
2.Adam Marriott (Kings Lynn Town)
The one problem with Adam Marriott is his injury history. Take that out of the equation and he is a proven goal scorer.
Did it in the Football League with Cambridge United and Stevenage but has showed in the last couple of seasons that he still knows where the net is.
Scored 31 in 43 appearances for Royston Town and then last year bagged 25 in 34 appearances for the Linnets.
That sounds like a man who has put his past behind him and if Ian Allinson wants a third striker then he most definitely fits the bill. Worth a punt.
3.Joe Newton (Royston Town)
Anyone who saw him at Colney Heath will not be surprised that this prodigiously-talented teen has made the leap to step three without breaking sweat.
Can play anywhere down the left side and will be snapped up by a big boy before too long.
As a local lad it makes perfect sense to bring in and if you did he would form a fearsome partnership with Ben Wyatt and would also allow Tom Bender to move into the centre of defence.
Plus, if you get him on a contract then when the big boys do come calling there would be a future financial benefit.
Was a revelation in 2017-2018 but while last year was meant to be his big breakthrough season, it was nothing short of a disaster.
Needing to reignite his career, where better than Clarence Park to do it? He seems to be fitter now too so with a little bit of coaching he would be a potent weapon.
Mind, his signature move of cutting inside from the right wing wasn’t too shabby and brought the majority of his 15 goals.
5.Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (Hendon)
Another former Saints’ winger but one that made just four appearances in a loan spell in December 2017, all off the bench.
He has played at this level before with Wealdstone and Hampton & Richmond Borough but it was a switch to Southern Premier League Hendon last season which will have put him on the radar of one or two.
Hit a rich vein of form at Silver Jubilee Park and despite playing in a struggling side he still weighed in with a total of 21 goals in 43 appearances.
Ian Allinson has always said he would like his wide men to get 15 goals a season and Shaq may be one who could deliver that.
6.Joel Nouble (Haringey Borough)
A lot of people talk about Haringey’s right-back, David Olufemi, but on the day I saw him at Potters Bar Town he was quiet.
The man who stood out though was Nouble.
Again a former Saint, although again this was a short loan spell that you have to go back to 2014 to recall it.
But back in August against the Scholars Nouble carried a very real threat down the right.
The easy comparison is with Chris Waddle as both have the same languid running style but one that is very deceptive.
Scored 16 this season, although eight were from the penalty spot, and with Borough failing to get out of the Isthmian Premier via the play-offs, may be ready for a move.
7.Steve Brown (Chesham United)
Quite simply the best centre-half I have seen since moving down here, end of.
Maybe not the biggest in the world but what you get is a solid, dependable defender who is good in the air and on the ground and who rarely makes a mistake.
He chips in with a few goals too.
Was one of the stars in Potters Bar’s elevation to the Bostik Premier and after moving to Chesham in October, skippered the Generals from the bottom of the league to a respectable 10th in the Southern Premier South.
Age may be against him slightly but at 29 is still very much in his prime.
8.David Longe-King (Biggleswade Town)
Former City players may litter this list but their form warrants their inclusion and Longe-King is yet more proof of that.
Under Lee Allinson, Biggleswade were constantly in the hunt for the play-offs and only missed out on the penultimate weekend.
Longe-King was a mainstay of the younger Allinson’s back four making 40 appearances.
Knows St Albans inside out having come through the development ranks but now 24-year-old he has benefitted from a few years of experience and may be ready for the step back up the leagues.
9.JJ O’Donnell (unattached)
His injury history is well documented and despite all of Gateshead’s troubles this year he made 23 appearances and helped them mount a play-off charge until the final few fraught weeks.
Was released in the disaster that is unfolding at the International Stadium and has settled in well in the north east so don’t be surprised if he stays up there and appears at South Shields in the near future.
However, if he feels the time is right to come back home then Saints would make an ideal home.
Another that plays on the left and with all his experience would be a huge influence on the youngsters.
A leader on and off the pitch too as his public stand against the shameful owners at the Heed showed. That is something City could do with.
10.Terence Vancooten (Stevenage)
A long shot, yes, but after a very promising debut season, the defender-cum-midfielder has made just nine starts this year at the Lamex and may not be part of Dino Maamria’s plans.
And having started life at Staines Town, maybe a drop back into non-league is required for the 21-year-old to restart his career.
His versatility will be an asset to anybody and he has proven to be a hard working pro, traits and talents that never go in wrong.
That’s my list then but what do you think? Who do you want to see at Clarence Park next year? Fire your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org