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Raven Flies In

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/07/2000

Raven Flies In

News From 11th July 2000

Paul Raven

As predicted on this site on Saturday, West Brom player Paul Raven has today signed for the Mariners on a free transfer, shaking hands with Town boss Alan Buckley on a three-year deal, after getting the all-clear in a routine medical examination.

Raven is under no illusions of what to expect from his "new" boss, having worked with Buckley before during the Town manager's time at West Brom. During his 11 years at Albion the 29-year old defender has had more than his fair share of "gaffers" and appears to have a healthy respect for Alan Buckley.

"I know exactly what to expect and how he likes his teams to play football. I know his training routines and I know what he demands from his players."

He also reveals that the team spirit of a small club and the fact that he already knows a lot of the other players was a major reason for his move to Grimsby.

"I'm looking forward to being at a club where you expect there to be a good team spirit.

"I know from speaking to the other lads that they have got that. It's nice to be moving to a county rather a big city team and it helps that I know so many of them.

"It generates a better team spirit when the lads live closer together and they can get about together more.

"This is a very exciting time and it comes at the right stage in my career to give me a perfect boost."

Raven's stated aim is to bring competition for places at centre back. On paper Richard Smith and Peter Handyside are the manager's first choice pairing. However, neither look certain to start the new season in full flight, as both players are coming back from major injuries, so Raven might well get an early bite at the cherry to claim one of those two centre back berths as his own.

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