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I Told You So

By: Dave Boylen
Date: 13/03/2008

WELL we all can say it, the words "I told you so". I was one of the people who said we should stick by Alan Buckley and I am pleased we did. It was not long ago that some supporters were saying that Alan Buckley had lost the Midas touch and should be replaced, when the club was having a bad spell with a few dodgy results.

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Thankfully Chairman John Fenty steadied the ship and came out with a vote of confidence which enabled the boss to carry on the good work that he was patiently building at Blundell Park.

To me the big difference with Alan Buckley this time around is the way he is cultivating the young lads in his team, because let's be right about this, at Grimsby Town we have not got a lot of money to splash around, and everybody who knows me can tell you I have always advocated developing the youth policy at Blundell Park. Neil Woods who is in charge of the Youth Development at Town is doing a superb job, which I know is really appreciated at the club.

The amount of young players coming through is quite unbelievable, for instance Hegarty, who I rate highly, a left-sided player which is very rare indeed, and this lad has got a lot of potential and also he's got an eye for goal.

Danny North a typical Grimsby lad who thinks the world of the football club, a star of the future in my eyes, he knows where the goal is and is not afraid to chase every lost cause. This could be a young striker who could reach the heights that another local lad called Kevin Drinkell did when I was a player in the seventies.

Andy Taylor, what a prospect he could be, he has got what all footballers wish for and that is speed. Andy can leave defenders gasping for breath with his pace and he also has got an eye for the goal. Another player is the great enigma, Peter Bore, the lad has got something that you cannot buy and that is the ability to score goals, maybe he's a bit moody at times drifting in and out of the game and not seeming to be interested but suddenly a burst of pace and he has left his defender for dead and ends up with a goal out of nothing.

I was at Boston last year when he scored three goals, what a talent, but he has not been a regular in the first team and I have to say this, I hope he realizes that there is only one boss at Blundell Park and that is Alan Buckley. Peter should count himself very lucky that at this part of his footballing career he has got a manager with the credentials and experience of Alan Buckley.

Then of course Ryan Bennett. This lad is a gem, one of the best prospects I have ever seen in the thirty years I have been connected with Grimsby Town, so confident on the ball, he plays anywhere the boss asks him, an ice cool temperament, and a football ability that is being noticed by Premier League clubs. I think it will only be a matter of time before he goes to a big club, and what a nice lad. Ryan came with me to present the Xmas awards at the Sea Cadets on the docks in Grimsby. He stayed all night, mixed with all the youngsters, and had photos taken this lad is really different.

Wembley! Who would have ever had thought the Buckley would do it again? It has set the whole town alight something that I am delighted with for Chairman John Fenty especially, who has put an awful lot of resources into the club, i.e. money and energy,

I hope he takes time off to really enjoy the day at Wembley and take a look round to see all the supporters enjoying themselves in this magnificent national stadium of ours.

How far can the manager take this team? Well only he knows what kind of players we need to improve the present squad, but the balance is right with the goalkeeper Barnes having a tremendous season and now we have a settled back four, or three on occasions depending on who we are playing, with Gary Jones or Danny North up front to fight for the main striker role, Butler I have to say played really well against Barnet the other night, and looked like he wanted to know and certainly put himself about.

I think Alan will go for the play-offs, he will treat every game as if we can win it, and why not this is not a good league and you never know the way things can pan out with the backing of the fans who I believe could cheer us on to the play-offs again.

See Dave's other articles

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