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Handyside Signing For Stoke Creates a Problem

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 10/07/2001

PETER HANDYSIDE has now signed for Stoke City and leaves the Mariners with a problem of finding a replacement before the season starts, with manager Lennie Lawrence even considering dropping Livvo into the back four.

A disappointed Lennie Lawrence heard the news last night when Handyside rang to tell him of his decision. "He apologised to me when he rang for prevaricating over the move."

"He has got a good deal there at Stoke City. They are a big club but they are a second division club. I think the desire for change was paramount. He has been 10 years here. That is not unusual for Grimsby but it is in football generally."

"... No disrespect to Stoke but he is going to a second division club...."

"I believe he is a first division player. No disrespect to Stoke but he is going to a second division club. If they go up then that will be a good thing for him."

"The whole thing has been very amicable and we thank him for his services and wish him well,"

"... At the back there is nobody good enough in our price range that we have identified!..."

Lennie told the Grimsby Telegraph that there was nobody in the club's price range that was readily available and may look to drop Steve Livingstone to centre back and bring in a big striker to operate with £250,000 signing Phil Jevons.

But the key to the solution may be French trialist Bertrand Ketchenke who will be going to Lilleshall with the Mariners next week.

"... The last thing we would do is sign somebody just to fill a gap..."

"At the back there is nobody good enough in our price range that we have identified, nobody who looks right for us. The last thing we would do is sign somebody just to fill a gap," said Lawrence.

"We have the lad Ketchenke and he has got through the fitness training OK, some trialists don't. When we get to Lilleshall next week we can have a better look at him from a football point of view. He is 21/22, over 6ft tall and is playing in the French first division, the other alternative is to look to bring in a big striker for Jevons to play off so that Livvo can drop into the back four."

Peter Handyside Profile

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