Clubs in the lower leagues are slowly starting to announce their release/retained lists. We are all awaiting the list by Walsall, so it is difficult to speculate which positions we will need to strengthen. However these are a few of the players who have been released that could fit us, and the reasons why.
Harry McKirdy – (Carlisle)
Harry is still a fairly young player, aged 23. He was a part of the Stoke and Aston Villa academy, so the West Midlands is a place he is familiar with. So let’s look at him as a player. He plays a Striker, or just behind the front man, and he has a very good record in what was a team that were a staple team in the bottom third of the league this season. His record is as follows, 38 games in all competitions, scoring 11 goals, with 7 assists. Adding him into our team, that has started really clicking going forward, he could really be a valuable player. Darrell Clarke has said he likes his younger players to have played around 100 games, McKirdy has around 80 in all competitions, which would no doubt be higher if the season had have finished, so he very well fits the mould that Clarke has set. Overall I think with his past in the Midlands, and his good record for Carlisle this season, he would make a very useful signing.
Otis Khan – (Mansfield)
To start off, Walsall isn’t a huge relocation for someone leaving Mansfield, and in the current climate that will be things clubs and players will need to reconsider. Also, at 24 he is hugely experienced, with nearly 150 league appearances, most in league 2. Otis is a versatile attacking midfielder. The last two seasons he has mainly been a CAM, however he is more successful when playing on the wings, the left is his more preferred side. Yes, we have our own very talented Left midfielder, but I think Otis Khan can really offer something to our team. In the 17/18 season for Yeovil, he played 40 games on the left, and scored 10, and assisted 10, proving his worth. The last two seasons at Mansfield have been very mixed for the 24 year old. He has been moved around all across the midfield, and had to make do with a lot of appearances off the bench, several of which have been late on. His good spells of form have been when having a solid run in one positions. As a central attacking player, he assisted 3 in 8 starts early this season before being put on the bench. He has had the same amount of assists this season as Wes McDonald, however Wes scores more. Overall I feel that he could be the central attacking player we need, as well as someone who fits on the wings.
Devante Rodney – (Salford)
Firstly, I know our history from Salford is, well, not exactly great, but hear me out. Devante Rodney is a player who can play anywhere in a front three, but has had a good spell from the right wing, somewhere we need filling. He has a very good record in the National League, where as a right winger, he has scored 13 in 58 games, however he doesn’t get assists as often as we would like a winger too, with only two. He has amassed only 7 games in League Two, 4 substitute appearances for Hartlepool, where he scored twice, and 3 for Salford, where only 1 was a game that he started. So in the National League he is fairly triend and tested, but in League Two, he hasn’t really had a chance to prove himself. He is young, at 22, (this is written on May 19th which happens to be his birthday), and has played a total of 98 league games. H We do not know whether he was a big earner at Salford, but he could be worth a punt. My only problem would be that we then have Nolan and Rodney as our right sided midfielders, both are low on experience.
Craig Conway – (Salford)
This is a bit of a curveball suggestion. Conway is 35 years old, which isn’t usually a wingers prime age. He is a winger that can play on either side, and despite being older, has 6 assists from 20 matches this season, which shows he can still come up with the goods. Craig’s longest spells were at Dundee United, where he spent 5 seasons in the SPL, and at Blackburn, where, until 2019, he had played over 150 times in the Championship for them. He is a good solid winger who has proven that no matter what league he is in, he can come up with plenty of goals, and even more assists. The problem here is wages. He is used to a Championship level of pay, and then a Salford level of play, so I would assume he will be asking for more than most League Two clubs can afford, however I think he would be a perfect player to teach Nolan. With his age, he wont play week in week out, but that could be a good gateway season for Nolan to start getting some gametime, without the pressure of being the starting winger all the time.
Other notable mentions –
Bobby Olejnik (Mansfield) – The 33 year old is a tried and tested League 2 keeper and could provide Roberts with someone older to learn from, and compete against.
Matt Preston – (Mansfield) – I have seen a few fans mention Preston. He didn’t have the best of time here, however he has gone on to be a stable League 2 Defender. For me, I cannot see the need for another CB unless Kory or Jules move on.
I will be back soon with more players as clubs start to announce their lists.