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Slipped Through the Net: Bradley Allen

By: Richard Lord
Date: 30/03/2003

IN an exclusive interview as part of The Fishy's new "Slipped Through the Net" series, Richard Lord caught up with Bradley Allen to talk about his time at Blundell Park.

Bradley Allen arrived at Grimsby in July 1999 as part of a double-transfer swoop by manager Alan Buckley. He and Danny Coyne were the first two players to join the Mariners on Bosman Free transfers.

Allen's first season at Blundell Park was somewhat of a success. Although he didn't start many games, the former England Under-21 striker netted nine times, with many of his appearances coming from the bench. The team had struggled to score goals that campaign but the addition of Allen helped their cause.

Just one season into his three-year contract saw the departure of Alan Buckley and the arrival of Lennie Lawrence. Still determined as ever to establish himself as a first-team regular, Allen was hit by injury which effectively curtailed his season. Desperate to play first-team football, Allen had many comeback games from the substitutes' bench but failed in winning over new manager Lawrence.

His third and final season at Town was undoubtedly his best. The addition of Phil Jevons and the emergence of Jonny Rowan hampered Allen's attempts to break into the first-team so it wasn't until the departure of Lawrence and the appointment of Groves as manager that Allen was given his chance.

From January 2002 he and Michael Boulding formed the strike partnership of the division. Allen's intelligent link-up play and ability to bring others into the game paved the way to success, but only for the ITV Digital fiasco to scupper any chances of a renewed contract beyond the summer when he left under a cloud.

His form towards the end of that season was worthy of a new deal and out of the loyalty to Grimsby, Allen found himself without a new club for the season. He eventually joined Bristol Rovers after a three month spell with Peterborough but the financial noose in Somerset has meant Allen's stay with the Pirates has been cut short.

Next: Bradley Allen Interview

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