One in and one out at Edgeley Park
County manager Jim Gannon has dipped into the loan market to boost his attacking options by signing 19-year-old striker James Hooper on a month’s loan from League One side Rochdale. Hooper’s arrival at Edgeley Park also coincides with the departure of striker Scott Spencer who has now left the club in order to get game time somewhere else.
Scoring goals has been a big problem for County’s strike force this season, as our main striker Josh Amis has only scored once in fifteen appearances with fellow strikers John Marsden (two), Scott Spencer (two) and Kayode Odejayi (one) failing to find the back of the net on a regular basis to boost our hopes of securing promotion. The clubs leading scorer is currently winger Danny Lloyd with eight goals so hopefully the arrival of a new forward will take the reliance and pressure off him. Based on what Jim Gannon has said, it would appear that the new loan signing will be used on the right hand side of County’s three man attack during his spell here.
Hooper has played at this level already this season as he spent a month on loan at FC United in September where he made three appearances and scored one goal during his spell at Broadhurst Park. Hooper also earned the clubs man of the match award during one appearance against Tamworth as he scored the equaliser during a 1-1 draw and put in “a lively performance, looked dangerous all afternoon and scored a great goal”.
Speaking about bringing in a new face, manager Jim Gannon told the clubs official site:
“James is a player we’re pleased to be able to bring in. We have been looking hard for a fit, pacy, direct, wide attacker with an eye for goals to play off our right flank and James fits the bill perfectly. If you like, a Danny Lloyd off the right! We have a good squad of players that I have a lot of confidence in but since the injuries to both Adam Thomas and Adam Etches we have been wanting to add extra pace, penetration and goals to add to our current wide attacks and wing play.
“The next month has a small number of games but it has some big league matches coming up and a massive FA Cup first round game against Woking. So it’s great to add James into the squad for those games. I’m grateful to Rochdale FC allowing him to play in the FA Cup which has become a big competition for us. His availability for that game is a huge plus for both us and James, as it will be a special game to be involved in.
“Fortunately, extra revenue generated by our FA Cup run is being made available to the playing budget and allowing me the scope to take a broader look at our squad and consider options to strengthen the team. We will be making some adjustments in the next few weeks as we look to keep improving the shape of our squad.”
Hooper’s arrival at Edgeley Park coincides with one departure from the squad, as 27-year-old striker Scott Spencer has chosen to leave the Hatters in order to get more time on the pitch. The former Hyde United player re-joined County in the summer on a non-contract basis after coming out of retirement, although his return to the club has not gone as well as he would have liked as he has only started two games in that time whilst making a total of ten appearances in the first team.
After being used mainly as an impact sub when we were chasing games, he did manage to find the back of the net twice as he scored the vital second goal in a 3-2 win away at Altrincham and he also appeared to have salvaged a deserved point against League leaders AFC Fylde in injury time as he scored to make it 1-1 – although the joy didn’t last long as Danny Rowe smashed home a free kick in the 97th minute which harshly meant that we didn’t take any points from the game.
Scott is expected to link up with another club in the same Division following his somewhat ‘unexpected’ departure from Edgeley Park, as he has already received various offers clubs in the National League North as he looks to kick start his career again.
Spencer’s County career has seen him make a total of forty-six appearances during his two spells, and he has scored thirteen goals.
Published: 20th October 2016
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Vanarama National League North
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Giant Axe Field
FA Trophy (Rd 1)