Former Yeovil Town loanee Martin Cranie looks unlikely to come up against his hometown club during the 2012-13 season, despite having just spent three seasons on the books of recently relegated Coventry City. The 25 year old has announced that he is turning down the offer of a new contract at the Ricoh Arena, after 120 appearances for the club.
Cranie, who went to Buckler's Mead Community School, before becoming a successful graduate of Southampton's academy system, appears to be reluctant to drop down to League One level, and with the Sky Blues having been sent down to third tier level for the first time since 1964. Cranie, who signed for Coventry from Portsmouth back in 2009, has said that he aims to stay in the Championship:
"I wanted to see what was offered but I have always wanted to stay in the Championship. Obviously I like it at Coventry but I don't feel it is right for me at this time and I'm going to look elsewhere. I've had a great time but I think it's time for me to look for another club. The fans have been great with me, as have all the managers I've worked with. I've played in a few positions and this is the first time I have played week in, week out in a settled position and I'm grateful for that."
Talking of ex-Saints loanees, and indeed those with Coventry City connections, yesterday Leon Best completed a £3 million move from Newcastle United to Blackburn Rovers, signing a four year contract at Ewood Park. The 25 year old has dropped a level to team back up with his former Coventry assistant manager and admits that came into his thinking when he made the decision to leave St James Park:
"It is a good thing for me and a new start to my career coming here. I've been with Steve Kean before so I know what he's about, he's shown me a lot of loyalty and he's come in for me and I'm showing some back. I want to come here and work with him and the new players and hopefully we'll go straight back up. Blackburn is a massive club, a lot of big clubs have come into the Championship recently and gone back up so we've got to look at doing the same."
Best scored ten goals for Newcastle in his 17 months in the North East and will be remembered by their fans for scoring a Premier League hat-trick in January 2011 in their 5-0 win over West Ham United.
Yesterday, we mentioned that Jonathan Grounds had signed a two year contract with Oldham Athletic. In an interview today, the 24 year old reveals that he first made contact with Latics boss Paul Dickov only two and a half weeks ago, and so appears not to have had this offer on the table when he turned down the Glovers deal.
Grounds has told the Oldham club website that his experience through loans at Chesterfield and Yeovil Town helped him know what to expect when Dickov approached him:
"Before last season I didn't know much about League One but, after those two loan spells, I now know much about it. The way the manager spoke to me and how keen he was to get the deal done and get me here convinced me this was the club for me. He is really behind me and trusts me as a player and to showcase what I can do. Before last season I didn't know much about League One, but I now know much about it."
Meanwhile former striker Gavin Tomlin has revealed that he came close to leaving Yeovil Town, whilst Southend United manager was in charge of Plymouth Argyle. The 29 year old agreed a one year contract yesterday, bringing the pair together at Roots Hall. However he has told their club website that this could have happened much earlier, although implies that the Glovers turned down the approach from the Pilgrims:
"This move has been on the cards for about five years. Paul Sturrock bid for me when I was at Yeovil so he has liked me for a while and I can't wait to play underneath him. This is the first time we've had dialogue but I knew that he liked me and was interested so it is good to finally get to work for him."
Link: Martin Cranie : Yeovil Town Statistics.
Link: Leon Best : Yeovil Town Statistics.
Link: Jonathan Grounds : Yeovil Town Statistics.
Link: Gavin Tomlin : Yeovil Town Statistics.
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