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Groves To Extend Pouts' Deal!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 13/07/2003

ALAN Pouton is set to begin talks with manager Paul Groves over a two-year extension to his existing contract, reveals the Grimsby Telegraph. The news comes amongst a flurry of transfer activity at Blundell Park over the past two weeks.

Where the identities of the new faces have been the main topic of conversation, Groves has remained keen to secure the core of his existing team by offering Pouton a deal running up to 2006.

"We are going to speak to Alan about keeping him longer," said Groves. "He's somebody that has got good experience, is at the right age and we feel he's matured into a very good player.

"He's the driving force of this team and the sort of player that we want to be able to keep at the club. That's something we're going to discuss with him next week."

In other news, Phil Jevons has agreed to take somewhere near a 50% pay-cut and have his appearance money deferred until Town have paid the outstanding fees to Everton after his transfer in 2001.

The striker, who spent a large proportion of last season on loan at Hull City, is keen to resurrect his career at Grimsby and has featured in the pre-season tour of Ibiza.

The money saved will add to that Groves has to bargain with in his attempts to lure former keeper Aidan Davison back to Blundell Park.

Another player making an impact out in the Mediterranean is 20-year old Graham Hockless. The Hull-born midfielder was pleased with his displays in the Copa De Ibiza.

"It's always good to score any kind of goal and that was quite a good one even if I say so myself," said Hockless of his 25-yard winner against SD Portmany. "If I continue that in the reserves I'll be looking at getting more games in the first team.

"It's make or break for me this season as it is with a lot of the younger lads. A lot of the lads said to me that I did well the other night but I don't think I was outstanding," declared the modest midfielder.

Youngster Ian Ward is also looking to press for a place in the first team next season, but knows that he will face tough competition if he is aiming for a midfield spot. The 20-year old played in the absence of John McDermott last season.

Ward said: "I like to play anywhere across the middle but I was right wing in the first game this week, and left back and left wing in training.

"I'll just have to produce my best football in the reserves and try and force my way through. But there are a lot of midfielders at the club now." Ward signed a 12-month contract prior to the squad's pre-season trip.

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