And so the signings commence

And so the signings commence. After what seems like a age, Stuart has made his first pair of signings and the promise of more to follow, but what of the new boys and does it signal anything in terms of what we can expect from Stuart in terms of style?

Peter Thorne is relatively well known, a bit of an Ashley Ward lookalike, same town of birth and similar size! Barry Conlon, I’ve got to admit that I know diddly squat about other than he seems to be a deadringer for Jimmy Nesbit, and (if the message boards are to be believed) comes with the tag of being a bit “washed up”.

Both are six footers. Both have been around the block and, judging from the stats, should present us with something in the region of 30 goals between them. Thorne is the more prolific. His strike rate is around 1 in 3 over a career that has been primarilary at Championship level. He’s also commanded transfer fees that total around £2.5 million over his career. Compares well to the man he will be seen to replace, one Mr Windass, who has a career rate of 0.32 goals per game. However, Deano’s most prolific period was by far his second period with us at approaching 1 in 2. Take this out and he’s dropping down to nearly 1 in 4 elsewhere.

Thorne stacks up very well and is a good buy.

Conlon is a legend in Darlington! He’s had more clubs than Tony Jacklin, but still comes with a strike rate of better than 1 goal every 4 games, which whilst worse than the career average of Ashley Ward, is around the same as his strike rate with us. The difference is Cashley didn’t have a one in 3 man alongside him. If he had he would have created and ben a BCFC legend.

Conlon is washed up and Irish (allegedly) but remember our last washed up Irish striker and his mid 30’s strike partner – John Hawley. Nuff said.

So what of formation? This remains to be seen, but with an attacking pair in place, an aggressive midfielder ready and champing at the bit in the shape of Eddie Johnson, a flying winger in Omar Daley and the potential that Joe Colbeck has to realise this season, and we could be in for something akin to the 1985 team that Stuart flourished in. What we are short of now are two flying fullbacks and a playmaker in midfield and that’s the team sorted. All the rest will be squad players.

That 1985 team had followed an pretty good one that exited Division 4 in 1982, albeit with a bit of surgery, and if Stuart can deliver league one football by 2008, followed by Championship football 3 years later then he can be judged a success.

Bring it on.