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Posts Tagged ‘maurice malpas’

Ritchie Jones signs for Hartlepool

Posted by nickogs20 on July 4, 2008

Hearts, Barnsley, Tranmere Rovers, Swindon, Port Vale… all have appeared on the verge of securing Ritchie Jones’ signature over the last week or so following his release by United, but seemingly from nowhere it’s Hartlepool United who have snuck in under the radar and snapped up the 22 year-old.

Jones has been in advanced talks with Swindon and even underwent medicals at Hearts and Port Vale over the last couple of days but the midfielder has opted to sign for the North-East club, who finished last season 15th in League One. That decision, or rather the failure of the player and his agent to keep the other interested parties fully appraised of the situation, has irked Swindon boss Maurice Malpas and his Port Vale counterpart Lee Sinnott, the latter telling his club’s official website:

“On Thursday morning when we got in touch with him we were informed he would be coming to sign the forms yesterday afternoon at 4.00pm.

“Things changed again and we were expecting him to come to the club this afternoon at 4.00pm, but then at 3.15 we found out he wouldn’t be coming and he had signed for Hartlepool.

“These things happen in football, but perhaps when he looks back on things he will realise he could have kept us in the loop.

“We have been trying to contact him all day yesterday and again today. Perhaps people will be able to draw their own conclusions on that.

All that will be of little consequence to Hartlepool manager Danny Wilson, who has described the signing as ‘a feather in our cap’ on the Monkey Hangers’ official site:

“Potentially we have an excellent player on our books – he has a fantastic pedigree in terms of upbringing. Where better to start out from the age of 9 than Manchester United?

“He has some very good habits so that’s one thing we won’t have to work on.

“We’ve brought another potentially very good player in and there now becomes some intense competition in that area and that is what we want.

“Ritchie has high fitness levels, he can get goals and he is creative but as I have said before, he also has a big test in front of him to get into the team and stay there.”

Good luck to Ritchie at Victoria Park.

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Jones to Swindon/mystery club, McCormack to Triestina?

Posted by nickogs20 on June 25, 2008

Ritchie Jones, copyright soccernetIt’s always good to see released players find new clubs to continue their career with, and reports today indicate a couple of those being let go this summer are on the verge of doing so.

The Swindon Advertiser are reporting that an unnamed United youngster has been invited to join Swindon Town for pre-season training, effectively on trial. The player may be unnamed but it’s not exactly difficult to work out who it is from the ‘clues’ the newspaper gives – the player is 21 years old, plays right or central midfield and is out of contract at Old Trafford, and “has made a handful of appearances for United in cup competitions, as well as gaining experience from two loan spells in the Championship in 2006/07, and time in League One last season”. Step forward Ritchie Jones. Jones hasn’t officially been released but he is out of contract this summer and it seems unlikely United will offer him a new one. He of course spent time on loan at Championship sides Colchester and Barnsley in 06/07 and League One Yeovil last season.

Ritchie is already thought to have recieved a contract offer from an unnamed league club, so whether he takes Swindon boss Maurice Malpas up on this offer will likely depend on the relative standing of the mystery club compared to the Wiltshire side. It would seem to be something of a risk for the midfielder to turn down a solid contract offer to go on trial somewhere else with no guarantee of a permanent deal, but it may be that the existing offer is from a club in League Two – Swindon are of course in League One and Ritchie may have enough confidence in his ability to play at a relatively higher level to take that risk.

Meanwhile, the Irish Daily Star say midfielder Conor McCormack is on the verge of signing a contract with Italian Serie B side Triestina. The 18 year old was released in April after two seasons in the academy, and went on trial to the club from the north-east of Italy in May, scoring and impressing. Conor and 17 year old Michael Collins, released by Liverpool recently, are apparently “putting the finishing touches to contracts” this week.

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