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Troubled Times Ahead!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 18/07/2002

THE severity of cash-strapped Grimsby Town is underlined by the imbalance of ins and outs of players through the Blundell Park door. Simon Ford's future is still in the balance, reports the Grimsby Telegraph, despite the player joining the squad for the pre-season tour of Scandinavia.

Speaking to the GET Ford said: "Everyone knows that I've been away to Wolves. They've had a look at me and I was hoping to go to Portugal with them, but they couldn't get insurance for me so, rather than be there training on my own for a week and maybe not get a contract, I've decided to come back here.

"The manager has said he is happy to see me back. He's said he won't hold it against me just because I've been away to try and better myself. He'll just treat me the same as anyone else. He spoke to me when I got back on Monday and said he wanted me to come out here and play games and get fit then, when we get back, we'll take it from there.

"I appreciate that and hopefully when we get back everything will be sorted out one way or the other." If Wolves continue to show a keen interest in the former Charlton Academy player, he will follow a long line of players out of the Blundell Park door.

David Smith and Michael Jeffrey were the first to be released, and Ben Chapman has reportedly signed for Boston United. Menno Willems' contract was paid off and the Dutchman was allowed to leave the club.

Michael Boulding has since left for Aston Villa, and Danny Butterfield has signed for Crystal Palace. Despite waiting patiently and hopefully, it looks increasingly likely that both Bradley Allen and Wayne Burnett will be searching for a contract elsewhere.

Recent reports suggest Coyne is ready to team up with Lennie Lawrence at Cardiff as soon as the Mariners return from Sweden, and if Ford departs for Wolves, it would leave the squad looking rather frail and depleted.

The only recognisable first team players remaining would be Campbell, Cooke, Coldicott, Croudson, Gallimore, Groves, Jevons, Livingstone, McDermott, Pouton, Raven, and Rowan. It would then be up to the likes of Bolder, Downes, Thompson, Ward and many loan signings and trialists to help the Mariners' cause.

Remembering that a squad of 16 players has to be announced for a match-day, it looks as though Grimsby may struggle to do that itself, unless it can bring in more players in time for the start of the season - but what with, remains to be seen.



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