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Hockless: Slade Was a Big Factor

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 02/07/2004

GRAHAM Hockless revealed that new Town manager Russell Slade was a big influence on him deciding to sign up for the Mariners for another year. The 21-year-old midfielder today put pen to paper on a new contract committing him to Blundell Park for next season.

Hockless told Radio Humberside: "Russell Slade was a big factor. I was really impressed by him. He showed me the system he wanted to play and asked me where I wanted to feature in it. That was a big factor for me."

Many fans felt Hockless was unlucky not to get more games under his belt last season. Although he won the Young Player of the Year award, to date the talented midfielder has started in just five games for the Mariners, and come on as a substitute only nine times. This was largely due to being overlooked by last season's managers Paul Groves, Graham Rodger and Nicky Law.

Hockless had a huge impact in the latter part of last season, coming on as a substitute in a vital 1-0 win over Brentford at Blundell Park, and setting up the winning goal for Isaiah Rankin. He also scored a fantastic goal in the 2-1 defeat at Stockport after being on the pitch for just 4 minutes, where again he only started on the bench. Has Nicky Law allowed him to start more games in the run-in Grimsby could well have not been relegated.

Meanwhile transfer target Tim Sills, who is out of contract with Aldershot, has ruled out a move to Town after League Two rivals Bristol Rovers have become interested in the 24-year-old striker.

"A couple of weeks ago there was an offer from Grimsby Town. They are a big club and only two seasons ago were in Division One. But they put a deadline on the offer and I don't think I will be going there," Sills told the BBC.

"I think it's fair to say it will be a choice between Aldershot Town and Bristol Rovers and I intend to make that decision by the weekend."

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