Loan Watch (19/2)

Last updated : 21 February 2017 By Michael Morris

Loramski writes:

C:WindowsTempphp5CF0.tmpLike all right-minded City fans, Loan Watch was devastated when Etien Velikonja left in the summer but we soon realised there was an upside too. It meant that the prestigious Loan Watch Player of the Season award for 2016-17 was now wide open and so it's turned out. We finally got the original trophy back off Kevin Theophile-Catherine this week when he was over with St Etienne (he'd thought it was his to keep but, as we explained to him, he was only meant to have it on a season-long loan, there is a theme here). Who it will be presented to this season is anyone's guess but you realise its importance when an international player like Emyr Huws is prepared to take a pay cut just to have a shot at it. One slightly worrying thing about Awards Night is that we've been double-booked with a Chuckle Brothers tribute act but the venue have promised me that both events can run alongside each other with the minimum of disruption. Let's hope so, I wouldn't want to see the dignity of our big night being compromised. 

'There's only one place to start at and that's Hartlepool' isn't a sentence you come across very often but it certainly applies to this week's round-up. Matty Kennedy (pictured) continues to impress as a Plymouth player and he made the near 800 mile round trip to Hartlepool a worth while one for the 426 Plymouth fans there. With his team one down and not playing well, Kennedy cut in from the wing and put an unstoppable shot into the top corner with 15 minutes left. Oddly, he'd scored an almost identical goal in midweek against Orient and hit the post with another similar effort. He nearly missed yesterday's game with a back problem so all the more credit to him for another man of the match performance.

Emyr Huws also continues to impress at Ipswich as they secured two 1-1 draws this week against Brighton and Leeds. Manager Mick McCarthy is amazed at how quickly Huws has adapted to regular first team football after so long on the sidelines. A good night on Tuesday for our other two Championship loanees, Semi Ajayi and Tom Adeyemi at Rotherham. Ajayi has settled very quickly into life at that level and picked up his first goal but while his was a bit lucky, Adeyemi's strike from long range was an excellent finish. Rotherham battled well but ended up losing 3-2 to Huddersfield. Caretaker manager Paul Warne would like to see both players sign for Rotherham next season, yesterday's capitulation without them seems to indicate they make a difference.

In League One, things aren't quite happening for either Stuart O'Keefe or his MK Dons team. O'Keefe missed a good chance at Bury in the midweek 0-0 draw and was in action at the other end yesterday as he made an acrobatic clearance off the line in a 1-0 home loss to Fleetwood. Adam le Fondre is struggling to make an impression at Bolton although he's starting and results are good. A 1-0 win against Rochdale was followed by a come-from-behind 2-2 draw at Bradford. Deji Oshilaja's Gillingham hit a new low as they lost to a side managed by Russell Slade.

Rochdale's loss at Bolton saw Ben Wilson concede his first (very scrappy) goal since going on loan there and that was followed by a 3-3 draw at home to Charlton yesterday. Maybe Ben could've done better with the second but there was nothing to blame him for with the other two goals. Incidentally, this game saw a record broken as Derby fan Ed Wood completed his tour of watching a game at all 93 English League grounds (Berwick is included as it's in England). It cost him £5,500 plus lost wages, he missed his partner's birthday and their anniversary, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Valentine's Day but he got his record back (he last held it in 1992) as he completed the lot in 189 days. Weirdo.

Elsewhere, Idriss Saadi didn't score this week as Kortrijk lost again while in the non-league pyramid, Jarrad Welch had two assists in Cinderford's 5-2 win over St Neots. Lloyd Humphries played the 90 minutes as Weston-Super-Mare drew at home to Welling. The Welling players thanked their fans after the game by going over and shaking hands with all of them, a superb gesture and one that Loan Watch would like to see City players adopt after home games. Clapping from the middle of the pitch is worthy but a bit old-hat now, shaking all our hands and wishing us a safe journey home is the way forward.

Among our former players there were goals for Jobi McAnuff, Steven MacLean, Guido Burgstaller (in the Europa League), Eoin Doyle and another two for Danny Johnson. Heartfelt best wishes to Loan Watch favourite Rhys Healey who we've followed on various loan spells over the years. Good luck and a speedy recovery to him.