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Style of Football


Sodden February

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 05/02/2001

Miserable, sodden February has arrived, the month when anyone with the ability to escape to a warmer climate will do just that. The Mariners are invariably disappointing at this time of the year and few in all honesty want to hang around waiting for the brighter days of spring.

Except perhaps for the gong-drooling supporters of Moan Utd down in Devon and Cornwall who will want to bask in the dark, wet, Discworld days of this month. 'The Reds' will surely see themselves mathematically assured of the Premiership title within the next few weeks. A few wins and the inevitable slip-ups by their nearest challengers and the big fat lady will be well into her second verse by March.

Meanwhile, back in port, the pitch is more heavily watered than even Alan Buckley would have liked. The game against Wimbledon is postponed - apparently the Dons were concerned that John Hartson may drown or get trench foot, further endangering the possibility of offloading him to some unsuspecting club sponsored by slim-quick products - but there is some good news that Lennie has hunted down a new loan signing.

Trevor BenjaminContrary to popular belief it's not an amphibious creature capable of playing on Blundell Pond but a loan signing that looks one of the most exciting for many years in Trevor Benjamin (left) from Leicester City. He will, hopefully, be joining his teammate Stuart Campbell and, if the reports are true, will add an injection of pace, height, skill to the team. He will, I believe, give the whole squad a much needed boost following the recent departures and, in particular, the unsettling nature of the Nielsen affair.

Leicester City seem a good omen for this club and Campbell's positive experience with the Mariners must have made its way back to Filbert Street. With his total commitment to the cause Stuart Campbell's presence in the town line-up is reminiscent of a former Leicester boy Joe Waters. Joe first came on loan, was then sent back, but following the fans' insistence was eventually purchased by the Mariners and became one of town's legends.

Trevor Benjamin is some way down the pecking order of strikers at Filbert Street and he probably has something to prove and coming to join town will give him such an opportunity. I hope and believe he will be an instant favourite. But, perhaps, he is one individual that has a bit more of a sensible approach to wages, his own ability and worth that some other players I could think of!

Coming originally from Cambridge Benjamin will be under no illusions as to the size of the club and what will be expected. Amazingly I even believe there is a chance come season's end that both players may sign permanently for the Mariners but - at time of writing - TB hasn't signed for us yet and we are not exactly rolling in loot.

But even if a permanent move does not materialise, despite the initial excitement that David Nielsen generated, the last time I became as excited about a loan player at Blundell Pond was Dave Beasant's all too brief set of appearances between the sticks. Sadly he headed back to London, after several months in the provinces. But he was, and still is, class.

The article continues in Part Two

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