Goalkeeper reunites with former club – find out who!

Oxford United

Who would have thought that Ryan Clarke would team up again with his former Oxford United boss Chris Wilder? Who would have thought that this 33-year-old goalkeeper would end up with Northampton Town? At last, Clarke has decided to join the giant team of Wilder on a two-year deal.

When Clarke’s contract with Oxford United ended, he immediately made his move to Sixfields Stadium where he would be reunited with his ex-boss. Well, he seemed thrilled to be working with Wilder again.

You may not know it, but the UK national started his career with Bristol Rovers where he spent six years at the Memorial Stadium, but just made 23 appearances there. He also spent time away on loan at Southend United, Kidderminster Harriers, and Forest Green Rovers before his release in the summer of 2006.

From Memorial Stadium, he transferred to Salisbury City for which he made 41 appearances in a three-year spell, which included a season long loan at Northwich Victoria before his release at the end of the 2008-2009 season.

In May 2009, the 6-foot-3-Clarke signed a deal with Oxford United and later on hailed as number one by his then-manager Wilder. In in his first season at Kassam Stadium, he was named the club’s player of the year. He was the regular United goalkeeper for most of last season, and played in their 3-1 win at Sixfields in October. Actually, Clarke was the U’s longest-serving player; he made 264 appearances since joining from Northwitch Victoria in 2009.

However, he was not in Oxford manager Michael Appleton’s plans and was deemed surplus to requirements at the Kassam Stadium despite having 12 months remaining on his contract.

In this case, Cobblers boss Wilder has moved quickly to snap up the shot-stopper Clarke. The newly-signed goalkeeper will soon compete with ex-Leicester man Adam Smith for the first-choice goalkeeper spot at Sixfields.

With the acquisitions of both keepers, the Cobblers manager Wilder seems delighted and content. Surely, Clarke and Smith will be great assets to Northampton Town. Wilder won’t regret in signing the two unstoppable players that could make the team join the next playoffs.

Now that they’re reunited, Clarke and Wilder will definitely have time to catch up and work with each other again. The question is, Will Ryan be hailed as Northampton Town’s MVP of the year for 2015-2016? Well, he might be if he really strive harder and do better.

Will Northampton boss still chase Luke Prosser despite the Southend United’s rejection of their bid?

Southend United

A player is somewhat lucky when he receives an awesome offer from a big football club like Northampton Town. That happened to Southend United defender Luke Prosser.

The British player apparently received an offer from Northampton boss Chris Wilder but the bid from the League Two side had been turned down by Prosser’s manager Phil Brown.

The 56-year-old manager, who has extended Prosser’s contract for another year, is very keen for the defender to stay at Roots Hall.

But Wilder has insisted that the Cobblers are still interested in bringing the 27-year-old player to Sixfields Stadium despite Brown’s rejection of the bid.

Of course, Wilder really wants to bring the central defender to his squad to tighten up a defense that leaked goals last season. Aside from that, the Northampton boss also wants Prosser to play alongside his former Southend United teammate Ryan Cresswell.

The combination of the two defenders in the field will surely give the Cobblers a good defense this new season. This is what Wilder looks forward to if Luke considers joining the Northampton Club.

As of now, Wilder is still waiting for the final decision of Phil’s squad. According to the Shrimpers boss, he’d keep the Cobblers manager informed about the status of Prosser in the Southend United. The club will look at Luke’s situation again during pre-season and if the six-foot-three defender is unhappy, then they will have another chat about his status. If things become favorable to Wilder, he will soon acquire the prospect who has made 148 appearances for the Shrimpers since signing in the summer of 2010.

Chris Wilder seems a persistent and determined boss, so there’s no doubt he’s going to pursue Prosser. By the looks of it, the manager will keep working on that until Southend defender inks with his squad. After all, Luke’s skills as a player fits the criteria that the Cobblers are looking for. I hope everything between Northampton and Prosser will be settled soon. This good defender really needs a big break, and who knows, maybe he can have that when he joins Wilder’s club.

Northampton Town welcomes Ex-Derby County defender – who is he?


It looks like the 47-year-old Northampton Town boss is really determined to make his team rock in the next playoffs!

True to his words, the Cobblers boss Chris Wilder signed in Josh Lelan, former central defender of Derby County, for a 12-month-contract.

The 20-year-old England-born player has inked deal with the League Two Cobblers after his contract with the Rams expired.

“I have joined for the new challenge. I know Northampton is a big club and I need to get some league games under my belt.”

The Northampton Town central defender joined the Rams’ youth system at the age of 15, but failed to play a first-team game for the Championship side.

Lelan, who’s previously with Derby County before being released at the end of the season, made four appearances in a loan spell with Gateshead in 2013/2014, followed by 6 appearances in a temporary switch to Swindon Town in 2014/2015.

According to Wilder, Lelan comes highly recommended from their contracts and they are pleased to welcome him to Sixfields.

“Josh is mobile and athletic and he can fill in other positions as well,” said boss Chris Wilder.

Aside from that, the Cobblers boss also praised Lelan for having good pedigree and a good grounding with Derby.

Lelan is definitely on a fresh start with Northampton Town and it seems that he is ready to take new challenges that may come along his way as the central defender of the team. In fact, he is vocal in saying he wants to get some league games under his belt. With his youth and skills, Lelan can really contribute to the team’s goal this upcoming season.

Along with the team’s new contract signing like Lelan’s and the recent appointment of club’s backroom staff, the Cobblers assure their fans that they are going to create a new NFL history soon! That sounds promising.

After all, their fans are counting on them to do just that.


Cobblers’ update: Former Preston North End defender is Chris Wilder’s newest recruit

Image from www.flickr.com/photos/ingythewingy/

Northampton Town boss Chris Wilder is really committed to strengthening his team with their third new signing ahead of the 2015-2016 season.

Now, former Preston North End defender David Buchanan has joined the high-caliber roster of the Cobblers.

The 29-year old player was released by the Lilywhites following their promotion to the Sky Bet Championship. Buchanan played more than 30 games in the Lilywhite’s league one promotion campaign last term, but an injury in January made him lose his place in the team. And now the Rochdale-born player was told this week that Preston would not be renewing his contract.

Luckily, Buchanan, professional that he is, has moved on quickly and has accepted the fact that such things really happen in football. He was unveiled at Sixfields on Thursday and revealed how the move to Northampton came about.

“It has all happened really quickly. I have worked with the manager and Alan Knill before at Bury, and when I knew they were interested, I came and had a conversation with them, and it has progressed from there,” said the former 2011-2012 Tranmere’s player of the year.

Wilder believes that Buchanan, a determined tenacious full-back, can really help the team tighten up defensively. The boss roots for the guy as he has worked with Buchanan before and he knows what a good player he is.

Buchanan is with Bury midfielder Nicky Adams and former AFC Wimbledon winger Alfie Potter in joining the Cobblers this summer.

Now he has to show what he’s got so as not to disappoint the whole team. After all, the trust that the Cobblers have given him should not be wasted.

Let’s see if he can really kick on next year and get Northampton out of league two. For sure, the Cobblers fans will watch his moves in the field. So stay tune for Buchanan’s contributions to Northampton Town this summer!

Adams signs three-year deal with Northampton Town

Image from www.flickr.com/photos/lcfcian1/

Northampton Town have signed Bury midfielder Nicholas William ‘Nickey’ Adams on a three-year deal, just a week after being transfer-listed by The Shakers.

The 28-year-old former Shakers midfielder was shocked after finding himself on the transfer-list despite playing 44 times, 35 of which were starts. With David Flitcroft’s idea of looking to go in a different direction, Adams switched to the Cobblers, agreeing to move on a free transfer.

The deal makes the midfielder reunites with ex-Shakers boss Alan Knill, who is the assistant manager at Sixfields, and Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder, who’s also on the Bury staff in 2008.

Cobblers assistant Alan Knill managed Bury when Adams came through the youth set-up between 2005-08 as the Welshman went on to make 94 first-team appearances before being sold to Leicester, and going on to play for Brentford, Rochdale and Rotherham United before returning to Bury.

Adams said that it took only a few days for the Cobblers’ GM Wilder to request a meeting with him. The 28-year-old Boltonian becomes Wilder’s second summer signing following the arrival of Alfie Potter on Wednesday.

“As soon as Northampton came in for me, I wanted to go and speak and when I came down here and spoke to the gaffer and looked around the place, I could see that it is an ambitious club and that’s what I want to be a part of,” said Adams.

Adams has previously played for Leicester City, Rotherham United, Brentford, Rochdale and Crawley Town. With Adams’ prior experiences, his new team expect much of him. For all we know, he could help the Cobblers to get into the finals in the next League.

Now Adams must prove his former club wrong, that it’s really their loss to transfer him to another club. Will he be able to step up to the plate? Let’s wait and see.

Northampton Town update: is O’Toole transfer-listed?


Uh-oh. Is it time to trade Northampton Town’s midfielder?

With John-Joe O’Toole’s previous injuries, his violent conduct against Mansfield and poor performance in the field, his disappointed big boss Chris Wilder decided to include him on the transfer list along with the 32 year old pro soccer player Chris Hackett.

Well, we can’t blame Wilder on that decision. Since O’Toole is not an asset to his Northampton Town anymore, it is about time to cut the team’s losses. After all, the former Bristol Rovers midfielder has never really got off to a great start and it has been a struggle for him to recapture the good form and performance he certainly showed at Bristol Rovers.

“John-Joe is still contracted to the club so if he does not go, he comes back in but I think from the boy’s point of view and ours, it’s a situation of it’s not gone as well as we would like, so we cut our losses and move on,” Cobblers manager Wilder told BBC Radio Northampton.

It was a shame that the 26 year old O’Toole did not produce the performance expected of him throughout the campaign. Could it be the man became over confident because the Northampton Town was eager to sign him in after the last season? Or could it be a tough adjustment on his part or a personal struggle maybe? Well, whatever reasons O’Toole has, there was no big excuse to play like that.

Play harder and well, or else, you might be transfer listed. It really hurts but it is the reality that every soccer player needs to accept.
After being transfer-listed, the next question is this: Which team will sign John-Joe O’Toole in after what he has done for his former team Northampton Town?

Well, that remains to be seen.

O’Toole underperforms – Wilder hopes to ‘cut his losses’


Northampton Town is now looking to ‘cut their losses’ on John-Joe O’Toole after he was slapped on the transfer list along with Chris Hackett, according to Cobblers boss Chris Wilder.

That shouldn’t have come off as a surprise, considering that the midfielder has been giving underwhelming performance since the Cobblers had him sign a bumper three year deal after scoring 17 goals for a relegated Bristol Rovers side during the previous campaign.

His arrival received much fanfare because of that.

Unfortunately, O’Toole failed to live up to the hype. He has only found the net twice in 40 appearances this season. What’s more, due to Wilder’s disappointment at his performances, he was shipped out to Southend United at one stage.

And then on a day which had been dubbed John-Joe O’Toole Day by fans who wore wigs and headbands in honor of the player’s long hair, the midfielder was sent off for violent conduct against Mansfield.

On the 26 year old’s failure to produce the performance expected of him, Wilder said, “Sometimes a manager has to make a decision and every manager has had signings that have just not worked. John-Joe never really got off to a great start and it’s been a struggle for him to recapture the form he definitely showed at Bristol Rovers and made us want to sign him.”

He also stated that O’Toole is still contracted to the club so if the midfielder doesn’t go, he comes back in.

But since the situation didn’t go well as they’d like, he said that now they’re looking forward to cutting their losses and moving on.

According to Wilder, O’Toole suffered from a couple of injuries and hadn’t found the form they signed him on in the first place.

He’s not blaming O’Toole though. He said that perhaps the style the Cobblers played has not suited the midfielder’s way of playing.

For O’Toole’s sake, may he get his old groove back come next season.

Chris returns to Oxford United, gets positive response



Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder had been expecting a mixed reaction from Oxford United when he returned to the Kassam Stadium for the Cobblers game against the Yellows for the first time since leaving Oxford United.

It was January last year when Wilder ended his five-year stint with the club to join the Cobblers. The two teams have met twice since then, yet both games had been held at Sixfields.

The Cobblers boss said he knew that there were some Oxford United supporters that weren’t happy with his departure with the club and more likely not too eager to see his return to their home ground. But he was hoping that others would look at it more favorably.

“I can’t determine or dictate what other people think about me and they might feel a little bit sour the way I left, but you rarely leave a football club on very good terms,” he told the Northampton Chronicle, adding that if will people look at it from a football point of view they will see that period with fondness instead of hate.

But Wilder was taken by surprise when he got generally positive response when he walked out just before kick-off.

Instead of showing him hostility, people have come up to him and some even asked for an autograph.

For that, Wilder is grateful for the supporters, hoping they’ll come back next year and that the two teams would be battling it out to get out of the league.

Northampton Town Midfielder bagged a two-year contract


It’s been a great week for Northampton Town midfielder Jason Taylor.

It was reported that Taylor has recently signed a new two-year contract with the team.

The 28 year old Droylsden, Greater Manchester native was on loan to the Cobblers by the Cheltenham Town since early January.

Jim Gannon, then Stockport County manager, was quoted as saying back in 2007, “He has all the attributes in terms of stamina and work-rate, plus he is mobile and we keep trying to add to his game. He has grown in confidence and he could be a fantastic player.”

During his stint with the Hatters, he made 51 league and cup appearances in the 2006-2007 season and won the club’s Young Player of the Year award at the end of the season.

Throughout his career, Taylor has made more than 350 league appearances and has won promotion with Rochdale and Rotherham United.

Asked how he was feeling after signing the new contract, he stated that as soon as he knew the team wanted to keep him, he had been over the moon.

Well, congratulations, Taylor. And may you have many more fruitful years with the Cobblers.

A tougher pre-season in store for Northampton Town


Northampton Town is gearing for a tougher pre-season.

And that’s according to the Cobblers’ boss Chris Wilder.

The statement was released after a last-minute equaliser denied him a triumphant return to Oxford United.

Things were going great as Ivan Toney fired in a superb 25-yard free-kick shortly before the interval and at that moment, it seemed like they were all set to win the game after losing thrice in a row.

Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on their side as debutant keeper Shwan Jalal punched Evan Horwood’s header to Danny Hylton, who slid in substitute Alex MacDonald to score a dramatic leveller, with just moments remaining in stoppage time.

This resulted to the Cobblers conceding to the opposing team, following their defeat to the Stevenage – also caused by a last-minute equalizer.

Needless to say, Wilder was none-too-happy by these turn of events, saying the team needs to be more robust.

“To concede in the 90th-odd minute is really disappointing. The left-back has taken a chance with a header and he doesn’t need to do it, because the game was done,” he said, saying they had gifted the team with an equaliser when in fact they should be the one walking away with three points.

Now Wilder is intent on having a tougher pre-season to make up for the losses and far too many injuries they acquired throughout the season.

He also admitted that his team had been mentally and physically tired the past couple games and that it played a part in the losses.

But now that star striker Marc Richards has returned from his injury and with Ivan Toney showing great promise, Wilder believes that next season will be a better one for the team.

May that be the case, Wilder. May that be the case.

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