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Groves Seeks Testimonial

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 30/03/2001

TOWN skipper Paul Groves is hoping to sign a new two year contract in the next few days, and is seeking a testimonial as part of the package. The midfielder turned centre back is eligible for a benefit match after 10 years spent at Grimsby, albeit separated by a spell at WBA.

The Grimsby captain told Radio Humberside "Things are fairly close now and hopefully things will be sorted out soon. You are allowed a testimonial after 10 years in service, even it's not consecutive."

The Derby-born midfielder has enjoyed a highly successful career in the lower divisions, punctuated only by a disappointing spell at the Hawthorns under former Grimsby manager Alan Buckley. The ex-Town boss, now at the helm of 3rd division Lincoln City, bought Groves for the Baggies whilst in charge of the West Midlands club in 1996. The Grimsby skipper was derided by the West Brom fans during his spell there, and his form dipped for the only time in his career.

Groves followed his ex-boss back to Blundell Park shortly after West Brom sacked Buckley in 1997, and went on to captain the team and lift two trophies at Wembley in the most successful season in the club's history: 1997-1998. In latter years he has played in a central defensive position, and rearguard duties are now his main role in the team. "That's his position now, no question or doubt about that." said Town manager Lennie Lawrence earlier this season.

The news of Groves' imminent signing follows that of veteran John McDermott, who also recently announced his intention to put pen to paper shortly on a new 2 year contract.

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