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Mariners move for Fuat Usta?

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 28/05/2001

GRIMSBY manager Lennie Lawrence is believed to be amongst a number of parties in the race for former FC Jokerit defensive utility player Fuat Usta. The Town boss is understood to be facing competition to secure the 28 year old's signature along with first division Crewe and several Turkish sides.

Usta, who is of joint Dutch-Turkish nationality, can play in either central defence or midfield and has had a spell which Turkish side Besiktas, in a career mainly spent in the Dutch leagues. The Turkish-born defender is available for no transfer fee, as his contract with the Helsinki club has just been completed.

The Finnish side are a club with which Lennie Lawrence is not unfamiliar, Town having given international striker Antti Sumiala a unsuccessful trial midway through last season. Usta is also a former teammate of Grimsby striker Michael Jeffery, the pair having played together for top Dutch outfit Fortuna Sittard.

With former Scottish Under-21 international Peter Handyside yet to put pen to paper on any new deal, and injury-prone Richard Smith only having only featured in 14 games during the last two seasons, Town boss Lennie Lawrence is looking at very least for cover in a position which is clearly not the strongest area in the Grimsby squad.

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